Consistent with the announcement by the First Minister yesterday (Thursday 11 June 2020), the construction of major projects in the Western Isles is to restart with a “soft-start”, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar said today (Friday 12 June)

In collaboration with leading construction bodies, the Scottish Government previously agreed a phased and incremental approach to the re-start process, commencing with the preparation of construction sites to put in place risk mitigation measures including physical distancing, enhanced hygiene by installing new or expanded site welfare and toilet facilities, one-way systems and marking 2m distancing throughout the site.

These preparatory works are now substantially complete and, Scottish Government having considered the public health evidence, the decision to move to 'phase 2' of the construction sector's plan was made with effect from 11 June.

A Comhairle spokesman confirmed, "the Comhairle, in collaboration with partner organisations including Hebridean Housing Partnership, will continue to adhere to Scottish Government guidance in all matters associated with the move from the lockdown".

"Projects including the new care home and social housing at Goathill, Stornoway, the improvements to Lochmaddy Pier, North Uist, and the provision of extended Early Years provision at Stornoway Primary are major investment projects for the Western Isles.  The construction activity arising from these projects makes a significant contribution to the economy of the islands and we are glad that this is now restarting in an incremental and safe manner".

“In implementing a “soft-start”, the construction sector will continue to follow guidance on the safety and welfare of the workforce and the public”.