The sales director of textiles company Harris Tweed Hebrides, Margaret Ann Macleod, has been appointed Chair of Stornoway Port.

 The Port has also announced the appointment Seonag Mackinnon, former Director of Education and Children’s Services at Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar, to its board.

Their appointments come as construction work on the port’s new £59million Deep Water Terminal, a project regarded as transformational for the economy, nears completion.

Mrs Macleod, who has been a member of the Stornoway Port board since 2016, has a business background in textile manufacturing, international sales and rural development. She has previously worked at a senior level for a number of companies and organisations, including Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Johnstons of Elgin, Robert Gordon University and Arcadia Plc.

Born and brought up in Carloway, on the Isle of Lewis, and a native Gaelic speaker, Mrs Macleod is an active board member of community organisations on the island, including her current role as Chair of the HI-Scot Credit Union. She replaces Ian McCulloch in Chair’s role at the Port.

Mrs Macleod said: “I am honoured to have been appointed Chair of Stornoway Port at this particularly exciting time in its long history, as we look towards the opening of the Deep Water Terminal.

“The Port is central to the economy of the islands, facilitating lifeline ferry services and supporting almost all economic activities, from fishing and aquaculture to construction, the energy sector, manufacturing, retail and the leisure industry.

“That role is set to grow significantly once the new terminal is operational and I look forward to working with the board, the Port’s staff and all other stakeholders to ensure we fully realise the lasting benefits of the opportunities it presents to the Outer Hebrides.”

Mrs Mackinnon enjoyed a long career in education and has a particular passion for the Gaelic culture of the Outer Hebrides. She previously served on the board of Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and has also chaired Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig, which produces Gaelic educational materials, as well as book publishing charity, Acair.

Stornoway Port’s board consists of up to nine members and the Chief Executive. It is responsible for the conservancy, protection, regulation, maintenance and improvements of the Port and its navigation.

 Chief Executive Alex Macleod said: “It is a pleasure to welcome Margaret Ann and Seonag to their respective roles.

 “Margaret Ann has served the board extremely well over a number of years and I know she will continue to do so in the role of Chair as we move forward with this important and exciting phase of the Port’s development.

 “Seonag’s extensive professional experience and interests are a welcome addition to the board. They will be invaluable in helping us encourage the wider promotion of the islands’ unique Gaelic culture to people visiting the Outer Hebrides.”

 Mrs Macleod is the second woman to chair the board responsible for the Outer Hebrides busiest port.  The first was Lady Jane Matheson, the proprietor of Lewis Castle, who chaired the former Stornoway Pier and Harbour Commission between 1879 and 1896.

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