Lews Castle College UHI reaches another landmark in its history of delivering construction industry-related training this year.

This comes with its recruitment of two new Joinery and Construction lecturers James Maclennan (pictured with retiring Joinery and Construction Lecturer Brian McKelvie) and Mr Calum Mackay.

This comes at a time when the college marks its Sapphire Anniversary.

Lews Castle College UHI was officially opened in 1953 by Sir Alex Douglas Home and it continues to build on the strong foundations of the visionaries who started the college.

“Building and Construction were pivotal to the vision of the people who provided the drive to set up Lews Castle College,” said College Principal Iain Macmillan.

”Moving forward, our college has changed but our priority is always to maximise opportunity for the people of the islands - whether it be in trades like joinery or degrees provided through the University of the Highlands and Islands,” he said.

The new Construction and Joinery team of Calum Mackay and ‘Jamie’ Maclennan are local tradesmen who are committed to transferring their technical knowledge and skills to a new generation.

On his retiral Mr McKelvie said: “I have every confidence that Jamie and Calum will follow in a long tradition of training Joiners to the highest standards at the college.’

Mr Maclennan and Mr Mackay have a hard act to follow.  They follow in the footsteps of John Murdo Macleod, the boat-builder from Ness who famously built the sgoth An Sulaire, Bruce Johnson, Brian McKelvie and ‘Donald Duncan’ Macleod.

The chairman of Comhairle nan Siar’s Education, Sport and Children’s Services Committee, Councillor Angus McCormack, said: “The Council and our community welcome the appointment of the new Construction lecturers at the college.

“It demonstrates the confidence that we all have in working with each other to build the foundations that will provide our youngsters with a bright future.”

The appointment of the new team comes at a pivotal time for the local construction industry when “there has never been a better time to become a tradesman” as the Hebridean Housing Partnership [HHP] and local businesses are committed to building more than 100 new homes over the next few years.