Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan today spoke to Highlands and Islands Enterprise, following the fire that devastated the Scalpay net washing factory at the weekend. He impressed on HIE the need to do everything possible to keep the 14 local jobs within the Harris economy.
The fire started on Friday afternoon and raged into Sunday. The building is currently owned by Net Services Scotland.
As well as thousands of pounds worth of netting being lost, the Gaelic voluntary organisation Fèis Eilean na Hearadh also lost all of their musical instruments, which were being stored in the factory at the time.
Alasdair Allan MSP commented:
“We should all be thankful that no-one was hurt in this incident and I am grateful to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and the Police for their handling of the situation.
“I was in Harris speaking to people over the weekend and there is now real concern over the future of jobs in the area.
“I spoke on the phone earlier to HIE interim Chief Executive Charlotte Write to emphasise the importance of making sure that these local jobs are secured if at all possible. I will also be seeking to contact the company themselves to offer assistance in this. Fourteen jobs represent a very significant part of the economy in Harris, and are a vital contribution to the community in Scalpay itself.”
Angus MacNeil MP commented:
“My thoughts are with the affected staff and the wider community at this time.
“I trust HIE will be supporting the company and their staff in securing a way forward. This incident has had implications for community groups in Harris and I am sure that the wider island community will rally round to support them at this time.”