An Lanntair arts centre ion the centre of Stornoway is set to open its doors to the public again on Monday, August 17th.

A phased reopening will see the building’s ground floor open from Monday August 17th, welcoming visitors to enjoy the An Lanntair Sketchbook Project exhibition in the main gallery.

The gift shop will also be open during this first phase, and refreshments and lite-bites will be on offer via an outside catering pod located on An Lanntair’s forecourt.

The opening hours will be 10am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday.

An Lanntair Chief Executive Elly Fletcher said: “The whole team is incredibly excited to welcome our community and visitors back to An Lanntair.

“We have been working hard behind the scenes to put in place safety and hygiene measures to help our staff and the public to socially distance and stay safe, whilst importantly enjoying everything that An Lanntair has on offer. We can’t wait to open the doors and invite everyone in!”

Reopening the main gallery is an art exhibition created by island residents during Lockdown as the Sketchbook Project delivered a month-long series of daily challenges, designed to engage people in creative activity on a daily basis during a difficult time.

Over 100 people were posted a sketchbook and emailed daily challenges or prompts over thirty days. Joe Mahony, An Lanntair Head of Education & Outreach, said: “Those participating could respond in any way they wished. Some people emailed their responses as the project progressed which were then displayed on our Artists Support website HA! Hebridean Artists, and that gave a real communal feel to the project.”

Completed sketchbooks were returned by post to An Lanntair, and the resulting Sketchbook Project exhibition will present over 3,000 scanned images, alongside the sketchbooks themselves, as well as being exhibited online as part of An Lanntair’s Virtual Gallery.

It is anticipated, remaining in-line with any changes to government restrictions, that An Lanntair will enter phase two of its re-opening in mid-September. This phase will see the second floor Café Bar areas once again welcome visitors and the restart of the cinema programme, with limited audience seating arrangements and procedures in place to support social distancing.

Plans for An Lanntair’s Performing Arts programme and wider Education and Outreach programme are in progress and on-going, taking into account all of Government and industry guidance; and there is a wealth of creative activities, entertainment, education, music and virtual art galleries available online at www.lanntair.com

Government guidelines on social-distancing and COVID-safe procedures will be followed throughout An Lanntair’s re-opening. These will include: a limited number of public within the building at one time; wearing of facemasks; social-distancing 2m measures observed, and a one-way system of public movement through the main gallery area. Screens have been installed at An Lanntair’s reception desk, and hand sanitiser stations and provisions will be made available to public and staff throughout. Public and staff areas will be cleaned regularly and frequently.