District News, March 26 2021

People are being urged to consider careers in the seafood sector.

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Villagers look forward to visitors’ return

After a year of missed community events, Clachan residents are looking forward to welcoming visitors back to the village as soon as restrictions allow.

One of the first events scheduled to take place when lockdown is lifted is a car boot sale – look out for signs around the village with more details soon.

The Kintyre Way Ultra run is also set to have a check-in point in the village in May, and gardeners have started growing on seedlings and dividing perennials for the annual plant sale.

This will be on the first Saturday in June, in time for planting up tubs and borders.

Clachan Art Show will be on the usual weekend of August 13 to 15 and organisers says everybody’s lockdown creations will be ‘very welcome’.

Resident Pauline Simson added: ‘So there will be life after Covid and we look forward to seeing you all soon!’


Islay business in jobs call

Islay Crab Exports Limited has joined a nationwide campaign to encourage people to apply for vacancies across Scotland’s seafood sector.

Despite the pandemic, the Scottish Seafood Association said the country’s £1.6 billion seafood industry is ‘vibrant,’ but needs the right candidates for numerous jobs.

It has partnered with Seafish, the public body supporting the seafood industry in the UK, to launch a recruitment drive called ‘Sea A Bright Future’.

As a member of the Scottish Seafood Association, Islay Crab Exports at Port Ellen is among those firms trying to recruit staff.

It has struggled to fill six roles in scallop processing but is hopeful that the pandemic may encourage people to consider a move to rural areas or the islands.

Fiona McFarlane of Islay Crab Exports Ltd said: ‘Islay is such a wonderful and friendly island and offers a great quality of life.

‘Hopefully this pandemic may encourage people to think about where they live and take that leap into a fresh life and a new career.’

The Scottish Seafood Association said the sector employed more than 8,400 people in Scotland, in a diverse range of roles spanning food processing and technology, human resources, marketing, commercial and engineering.

They are collaborating to show the wealth of opportunities available to help attract people looking to start, progress or change their career.

Jimmy Buchan, chief executive officer of the Scottish Seafood Association, said: ‘The seafood processing sector is vibrant, unlike some other industries just now, and offers a diverse range of career options within both large and small companies.

‘There are huge opportunities for people to go far in the seafood industry if they show the right ability, ambition and enthusiasm.

‘This campaign seeks to shine a light on that and put a career in the sector into the hearts and minds of those looking for an exciting new challenge.

‘With the coronavirus pandemic, people are evaluating not just what they do but where they do it and with seafood companies often located in attractive rural settings you get more living space – whether buying or renting – for your money.’

A dedicated website has been established at www.seaabrightfuture.com


Communications tower given go-ahead

Proposals for a 15-metre high communications tower to be situated on the island of Jura have been given the go-ahead by council chiefs.

The plans by WHP Limited and the Scottish Futures Trust are for a site north west of Ardlussa House.

And Argyll and Bute Council planning officers have given their approval to the plans, which also include the construction of other telecommunications equipment.

No complaints were received from members of the public to the proposal.

A council planning officer said: ‘The choices of sites for this important infrastructure project are limited and although the upper part of the tower may be visible in the skyline from some aspects in the panorama it is deemed acceptable. The design is an accepted standard and layout.

‘The siting and appearance of the proposed apparatus and associated structures should seek to minimise impact on the visual amenity, character or appearance of the surrounding area. It is deemed that the background work in assessing this site’s suitability is acceptable under policy.

‘Access to the site is via a single-track road from the A846 through a farm. A further 375m of track is required to reach the compound site.

‘This will include a new cattle grid with access gate, a culvert, overhead cable warning signs and temporary hard standing for plant, materials and welfare.

‘A condition will be attached to any approval restricting importation of materials required to form this track. Any local borrow pits required to win materials will require separate applications.’

The officer added: ‘The benefits of the proposal socially, economically and as a safety benefit have been weighted accordingly for testing against policy.

‘Any dis-benefit of skyline intrusion or mild interruption of the landscape by the track are not felt to outweigh general compliance with policy.

‘This infrastructure increase will help address the identified issue of retaining and increasing the active population in this remote rural area in line with the council’s strategic vision of this outward looking, adaptable island while retaining its outstanding natural and historic environment.’