Highlands & Islands

An Lanntair in Stornoway will not open on Sundays

An Lanntair Image copyright John Maher
Image caption An Lanntair is a major arts venue in the Western Isles

An arts centre on the Isle of Lewis says it is "not currently in a position" to open on Sundays.

An Lanntair in Stornoway, a major arts venue and has a cinema, consulted on the possibility of opening on Sundays for a trial period.

The centre said a "significant majority" of those who responded were in favour of the idea.

But following board meeting it has been decided that for operational reasons a trial now was not possible.

Leisure facilities on the island have traditionally closed on Sundays in observance of the Sabbath.

If the trial had gone ahead, An Lanntair would have become the first venue on Lewis to offer a cinema experience on a Sunday.

The venue holds Faclan: The Hebridean Book Festival, also live music and arts performances and was involved the Isle of Lewis' first Harris Tweed Bike Ride.

In a statement, the centre said: "The responses from this initial consultation showed some considerable support for Sunday opening.

"As a result, we then asked our membership whether they would be in favour of a trial period of Sunday opening during the coming winter, to further test demand and inform our future plans.

"A significant majority of the members responding to our consultation have told us that they would be in favour of a Sunday opening trial."

The arts centre's board of directors met on Wednesday and agreed to identify a way a trial might be possible in the future.

The statement said: "For the time being, however, following the review we have undertaken into the existing operational challenges associated with opening on Sundays, our board has decided we are not currently in a position to announce a Sunday trial at An Lanntair."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Leisure centres in Lewis and Harris are closed on Sundays while similar sites in the Western Isles are open

Local authority-run leisure centres on Lewis and neighbouring Harris are closed, although similar sites elsewhere in the Western Isles are open on Sundays.

The islands' council, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, won a challenge from a local campaign group who wanted the Lewis leisure centre to open on Sundays.

The local authority said its decision not to open the site was for "operational reasons" and not a religious one.

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