Harris Tweed Hebrides (HTH) has welcomed many distinguished visitors to Shawbost Mill – and in January added a former Miss Russia to the roll of honour.

Alina Charova, who won the title in 2016, was one of a group of media influencers who visited the company under the auspices of VisitBritain Russia, which is part of the UK Embassy in Moscow.

She now runs a fashion and beauty blog which has more than 500,000 followers on Instagram and over 600,000 on its YouTube channel. The group also included a writer from Aeroflot’s in-flight magazine and other leading bloggers.

Marina Shatalova from VisitBritain Russia said: “The purpose of the trip is to promote Scotland as a unique tourist destination along with Scottish fashion heritage. We hope to inspire Russian travellers to choose Scotland as part of their itineraries.”

Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn celebrated 13 years of community ownership in early 2020. The land was officially purchased by the community in 2007, on 12 January.

Lisa Maclean, the manager of Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn said: "Our anniversary was the first milestone in what is set to be a very busy year for us.

“More and more communities across Scotland are taking control of the places where they live through community land ownership, creating benefits not just for existing residents but also for the generations to come.

“Community land ownership has grown significantly, and this is very evident in the Western Isles, with over 70% of people living on community-owned land. Communities living on community-owned land often feel more in control of local decision making and have opportunities to create jobs, the ability to generate income which can be invested back into the community and in many areas, population growth is a reality also.

Clan Macquarrie Community Centre in north Lewis is celebrating the success of a programme to make it less expensive to heat – and save energy.

In the spring of 2019, the Centre in Borve was awarded funding of £32,731 from the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund.

The award was intended to deliver a number of different outcomes – with one of the primary objectives being to achieve improved energy efficiency at the Centre (and, therefore, savings in carbon emissions).  

The Clan Macquarrie Community Centre in Borve, Isle of Lewis is a favourite venue for local couples getting married. It has also hosted wedding receptions for couples from much further afield who wanted their special day to be held in an island community setting.

The wedding organisers at the venue are happy to have early discussions with wedding parties to ensure their day is unique in every way. Assistance with all aspects of planning the big day is freely available and this can be especially useful for couples living away from the island. The Clan Macquarrie Centre is just a twenty minute drive from Stornoway and is well located with plenty parking for cars and larger vehicles. Contact details for a range of accommodation options can be provided for guests travelling to the island.

Catering for groups of up to 150 guests, all food preferences can be accommodated from the fully equipped kitchen. Sample menus featuring quality fresh local ingredients will be provided on request.

Brian Wilson, who is chairman of Harris Tweed Hebrides, has been awarded CBE in the New Year Honours list.

Brian, whom was recently 71, was MP for Cunninghame North from 1987 until 2005 and served as a Minister of State in the UK Government from 1997 to 2003 – holding various positions including Trade, Industry and Africa.

Brian played a pivotal role in the creation of Shawbost-based Harris Tweed Hebrides from the industrial debris left by the previous generation of tweed manufacturers and hence the creation of the modern, worldwide version of the industry.