Iolaire Centre Update

The Centenary Commemorations on the 1st January 2019 saw the whole community in Lewis and Harris pull together in an unprecedented way to commemorate, in many incredibly powerful ways, those that were lost and survived the Iolaire Disaster of 1919.

Following these events and the wide and initial overwhelming community support for progressing the build of the Iolaire Centre, the Iolaire Centre charity is now embarking on the fundraising required to move the project forward to build a world-class visitor experience in Stornoway in the Hebrides, which will tell the story of the Iolaire tragedy.

This fundraising is a massive undertaking, with all stakeholders, government and the wider diaspora being able to and invited to contribute. The aim is to raise between one and two million pounds from the public to support the funding.

It is important that the public have ownership of the proposed centre through subscription of a very significant part of the funding and it is hoped that all stakeholders will contribute support in any way they can.

The fundraising campaign has begun with a major corporate donation and pledge of up to £100,000 over the next four years and it is hoped that support for the project, financial or otherwise, will continue through the Iolaire.org web site.

Iolaire Visitor Centre to move to detailed Planning stage

The building of a world-class visitor centre in the Hebrides, which will tell the story of the Iolaire tragedy has taken a step forward after unanimous agreement within a working group of stakeholders to move the project to detailed planning and funding stage.

A thorough project scoping exercise, facilitated by the Iolaire Working Group, has established that there is a viable and sustainable business case for the proposed Iolaire Visitor Centre which will mark the maritime disaster at Stornoway’s Number One pier.  A project summary has been set out in an Iolaire Centre Project Overview document released today.

Recruitment of a project manager is now planned to take place to progress the detail of the project plan, business case and funding package required to build the Centre.

Project funding has been committed by Highlands and Islands marine equipment firm Gael Force Group with matched assistance and resource support agreed by HIE and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar to fund the detailed development of the project plan through 2019. 

Announcing the next stage, businessman Stewart Graham said, “The unimaginable grief that the island suffered as a consequence of the Iolaire tragedy has had a profound and lasting, though largely unspoken of, impact on every aspect of our island life and culture, our population and our island economy.  Although quietly marked and told, the story has not had the wider national or international recognition that it should. As well as tragedy there is of course stories of heroism, fortitude, resilience and the quiet dignity shown by islanders in the wake of this tragedy”

“Our shared vision is for a world class visitor centre built in the heart of Stornoway which will along with the wider story of the island’s maritime history and war involvement, tell the story sensitively and with due respect, over a century after the tragedy.  We should expect that what we create will encourage people from all over the UK and further afield to make visits to the island to take in this visitor experience as part of an island visit. Not only would this be a lasting commemorative introspection, but as a world class visitor experience the Centre would provide a major, transformational, economic boost for the Islands and look positively towards the future.”

“We are grateful to the public for sharing their enormous support and valuable feedback on the project vision during the initial consultation period earlier this year”.

A website (www.iolaire.org) has been prepared for launch this month along with social media support which will provide the opportunity for members of the public to support the project financially and also keep in touch with the project’s development.  Funds raised through the website will be set aside until such time as the building of the centre gets the final go ahead.

Iolaire Visitor Centre Update

Just over a year since a private initiative to convene a working group of stakeholders to evaluate the concept of building a world-class Visitor Centre in Stornoway based on the Iolaire tragedy, the working group has agreed that they are to go ahead with fully detailing the project with a view to building the centre. A project manager is now going to be recruited to work up the detail of the project plan and the business case and funding package required to build it.

A detailed project scoping exercise has been completed which supports the business case and the sustainability of the centre and the project summary is as set out in the Project Overview Document (available to download on this page). Substantial project funding has been committed by the Gael Force Group and matched funding and resource support has been agreed by HIE and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar to fund the detailed development of the project plan through 2019.

The Iolaire Centre website along with social media support will provide members of the public the opportunity to support the project financially and also keep in touch with the project’s development. Any funds raised will not be used until such time as the building of the centre gets the final go ahead.


Tha dìreach bliadhna on rùnaich neachprìobhaideach, buidheann a chur air chois de fheadhainn aig an robh ùidh ann ansàr Ionad-tadhail a steidheachadh ann an Steòrnabhagh gus tubaist eagallach an Iolaire a chomharrachadh.  Tha am buidheann-obrach a chaidh a steidheachadh airaontachadh a dhol air adhart gus sgrùdadh a dhèanamh air a’ phròiseact. Tha manaidsear pròiseict gu bhith air fhastadh airson obair mhionaideach adhèanamh air plana a’ phròiseict agus air a’ mhaoin a dh’fheumar air ashon. 

Tha rannsachadh air a bhith air a choileanadh a tha a’ toirt taic do dh’adhbhar agus seasmhachd anionaid agus tha geàrr-iomradh air a’ phròiseact san Sgrìobhainn Àrd-shealladh Pròiseict a tha an cois seo.  Tha an Gael Force Group air maoineachadh susbainteach a ghealltainn airson a’ phròiseact agus tha HIE agus Comhairle nan Eilean Siar air aontachadh maoin agus taic eile a chur ri leasachadh mionaideach air plana a’ phròiseict tro 2019. 

Bidh cothrom air a thoirt do bhuill den phoball taic airgid a chur ris a’ phròiseact agus fiosrachadh fhaighinn mun phròiseact mar a bhios e a’ dol air adhart air an làrach-lìn seo le taic bho na Meadhanan Sòisealta. Cha tèid maoin sam bith a thèid a thogail a chleachdadh gus an tèid cead fhaighinn airson a’ phròiseict.

Iolaire Centre Open Day

19/02/18

An Iolaire Centre Open Day is to be held In Stornoway Town Hall from 12 noon to 6pm on the 27th February. There will also be an event for local businesses in the evening of the 27th from 7.30pm to 9pm, also in the Town Hall.

The events will provide an opportunity to hear about the early plans for a Visitor Centre in Stornoway commemorating the tragic sinking of the Iolaire in 1919 on the rocks at Holm with the loss of 201 lives.

The Town Hall events will be an opportunity to provide feedback on the proposals.

Businessman Stewart Graham is leading on proposals to building an ambitious visitor centre to mark the maritime disaster at Stornoway’s Number One pier.

Representatives of a Working Group, who are assisting with developing plans for the Centre, will be present at the two events on the 27th to provide information.

Stewart Graham said: “I hope local people and the business community will take the opportunity to come along and find out more about this important project which, 100 years after this most terrible tragedy, will provide a lasting legacy to the memory of the men who lost their lives.

“Not only would this be a lasting testament, the Centre will provide a major, transformational, economic boost for the Islands.”

For further information on the Iolaire and associated commemorative events, please visit the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AnIolaire/