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The first sections of a new staff welfare building for the North Shawbost mill of Harris Tweed Hebrides are on the road, with construction due to start next week.

Planning permission was granted in May for the demolition of the old staff toilet and other welfare facilities, to be replaced with extended and much more spacious accommodation, allowing for Covid-safe work conditions for all staff.

The new welfare extension has been constructed in nine modular sections, made of marine-grade plastic coated steel and painted grey. It was made by prefabricated building specialists A V Danzer at their Nottingham site.

The modules contain men’s and women’s changing areas, showers and toilets, two offices and a large canteen area with kitchen facilities.

They are due to be dropped into position by crane and linked together by employees of the construction company, which specialises in prefabricated units for use as site offices, classrooms, health facilities and specialist accommodation across the UK.

Island haulage specialists D R Macleod have been contracted to ship the units in five batches from Nottingham to Shawbost.

Three loads containing six of the nine units have already left the yard, with a contract team due to join them for a month-long installation and finishing contract.

Pictures show the first shipment leaving Nottingham last week (A V Danzer) and a floor plan submitted to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar as part of the planning application in March this year.