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16 October 2014

Arnish Lighthouse

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Update - Arnish Fabrication Yard

Today didn't start very well, with the announcement that the Arnish Fabrication Yard is to close as of next Monday. One month ago, the yard still employed 100 people and had a good orderbook. The last 13 workers will be laid off and the Yard will be closed, but on a care-and-maintenance basis. The operators Camcal are to be placed into administration, as no suitable successor has been found to take over. The yard will be mothballed, until another company is willing to come in.

The question needs asking what went wrong. After pocketing £20 million and another top-up by the local council, Camcal still went under. Do not think I put the blame squarely at Camcal's door. There is supposed to be a boom in the renewables industry, with windfarms sprouting like mushrooms all over Scotland. Unfortunately, it would appear that the boom was only a bubble. Another firm, involved in the construction of the nacelle [the turbine which converts the rotation of the blades into power], based at Machrihanish near Campbeltown in Kintyre is also reported in difficulty.

As I've said before, Arnish was supposed to bring hundreds of jobs to Lewis with the construction of the two windfarm projects in the island, if and when they are approved by the Executive. Even if another operator is found, willing to start up again, I very much doubt whether any island workers are prepared to chance their luck. Not after yet another fiasco at Arnish.
Posted on Arnish Lighthouse at 11:40


Hardly a single factual statement in this blog. Must try harder. You started with a misreported rumour, added big numbers and ended up with a fiasco.

Camcal worker from Lewis

Camcal worker, beg to differ. What I quoted is in the public domain. And please refrain from making sweeping statements which are not based on fact either. Suggest you look beyond misplaced loyalty to an employer that's blown it.

Arnish Lighthouse from Stornoway

Arnish Lighthouse - You most certainly have your facts wrong!

Anon from Lewis

Please bear in mind I wrote this piece on 25th August, when the info was that Arnish would close on Monday 28th with the loss of its remaining workforce. Subsequent info, received after submitting this piece, stated that talks were to be held this week (28 Aug - 1 Sep) about the Yard's future. It would continue to operate pending the outcome. In the case of no suitable take-over partner being found, the remaining work would be transported to another fabrication yard. News is a fluid medium, and Island Blogging is not BBC News 24.

Arnish Lighthouse from Stornoway

Anon and Camcal (same and same?): Arnish does not walk on water - not even in Stornoway harbor (at least to my knowledge). However, give us all a break and try to raise the level of discussion a wee bit. Specify what Arnish got wrong (and what you think is correct). Thank you.

mjc from NM,USA

No such announcement was ever made. Meetings over the future of the yard were ongoing before and after Friday 25th Aug and beyond. There was and still is no decision to put Camcal into administration. Nobody actually stated that apart from this blog. Camcal never received £20 million in public funding - not sure where that figure came from, perhaps someone is getting their sums wrong. Camcal received around £3 million from HIE, mostly for shares, info which is in the public domain. I think you are adapting or misinterpreting a news report, which incidentally did not report on any announcement or statement nor use such definitive language, and perhaps you jumped to conclusions. But it doesn’t help when you turn on those who try to correct the position. Camcal may well go into administration if cannot find a buyer but this was known since July. The Arnish yard will still be there and I do believe that many island workers will be prepared to work there with any new operator. The site and yard is owned locally. Highlands and Islands Enterprise has invested around £ 9 million in the wider site to create an industrial estate suitable for a mix of businesses with a seaweed processing factory already moving in.

A Macleod from Isle of Lewis

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