Work has returned to the Arnish fabrication yard and a total of 82 jobs have been created after the yard’s operator BiFab was awarded a contract to produce piles worth up to £26.5 million as part of the Moray East Offshore Windfarm development.

Alasdair Allan, SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, welcomed today’s official announcement. “Arnish is an important economic asset for the island and I am delighted to see it officially reopen after a period when it had no work.

“82 jobs will have a big impact on an economy the size of Lewis. It is vitally important that we get a sustainable programme of work for Arnish that keeps people in secure employment for years to come. I know that the company is very attentive to this point and is working hard to source new contracts for the BiFab yards.

“DF Barnes have shown real commitment to Arnish since their involvement. I would also like to thank the Scottish Government for the collaborative work is has undertaken since BiFab was first threatened with administration to get us to where we are today.”

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has welcomed the announcement of new work coming to Arnish. The Chairman of Sustainable Development, Councillor Donald Crichton, who visited the Yard yesterday together with Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, said: “This is excellent news and the Comhairle is pleased to see work start back at Arnish producing piles for the Moray East wind farm.”

“Over the last year, the Comhairle has been involved in discussions with management, agencies, and the new owners.

“It is very encouraging that those discussions and work with agencies, including the Scottish Government, are now delivering a positive outcome.

“The new owners have indicated they are keen to grow the business and the Comhairle will continue to work in partnership in securing a sustainable and successful future for the yard”.

As well as the Minister and company representatives from Bi-Fab and DF Barnes, those attending at Arnish  included representatives of HIE, Lews Castle College, GeoSea, Stornoway Trust and Stornoway Port Authority, pictured above

Following the Arnish visit representatives of DF Barnes attended a meeting at the Comhairle offices for discussions with Comhairle and HIE representatives.

Councillor Crichton said: “The Comhairle was encouraged to hear the company’s commitment to long term training and apprenticeships and of their enthusiasm for additional work and a long term future for the yard at Arnish. They clearly recognised the value of the local highly skilled workforce and the meeting was very positive.”

(this post has been updated with a photo and details from CnES since first being posted.)