Staff at Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) in Stornoway will join Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (CnES) at its HQ on Sandwick Road during next week.

HIE and Business Gateway are co-locating with the Comhairle’s economic development team at the public sector building, on the ground-floor of the wing to the left of the main Sandwick Road entrance. .

The move will build on the collaborative approach HIE and the local authority share and will provide a central point for all the islands’ business community.

The relocation will significantly reduce HIE’s overhead costs while freeing up the privately-owned premises on James Street for other interested tenants.

Rachel Mackenzie, area manager at HIE’s Outer Hebrides team, said: “The move will not only benefit HIE, the Comhairle and Business Gateway, but also the businesses, community bodies and social enterprises looking to access the services we provide.

"Our focus is on delivering our key priorities of growing successful, productive and resilient businesses, creating the conditions for growth and building strong capable and resourceful communities. This relocation gives us a unique opportunity to collaborate more and have a better offering for our clients.”

Calum Iain MacIver, director for communities said: “The Comhairle and HIE have been working close partnership on a range of strategic projects as well as business and community investments over the past period.  

"This co-location of our services is a logical next step in that partnership. It offers the opportunity for greater collaboration and a greater sharing of knowledge and experience between both organisations.  

"It will also allow the efficient deployment of scare resources, but more importantly it will allow for a more coordinated offering to the business and wider community that will ultimately help the overall performance of the local economy”.