TRANSOCEAN, the firm that owns the oil rig that grounded in the Western isles, is to donate £120,000 by way of thanks to the local community.
The money will be split between the local communities of Dalmore and Carloway and an island-wide fund to assist Western Isles young people to take part in sporting events on the mainland.
The Transocean Winner grounded on rocks on Lewis last month while being transported for scrappage in Europe.
The Comhairle discussed community benefit with Transocean and council leader Angus Campbell said: “The company wanted to pay tribute to the communities of the Western Isles and we felt that the community around Dalmore should directly benefit but that there should also be a fund for young people across the islands.
“Often youth groups struggle to raise funds for attending mainland sporting events and this will provide an opportunity to bid for money for that purpose.”
Dave Walls, Transocean’s Operations Director for North West Europe, said: “On behalf of Transocean I would like to thank the kind and generous people of Lewis for their support, hospitality and patience since the rig grounded at Dalmore.
“The response from the island has been both overwhelming and humbling and I hope the donations go some way to recognise and acknowledge the warmth and welcome extended to Transocean and our business partners.”
Councillor Norman A Macdonald, one of the local ward members, said: “This is a very welcome gesture by Transocean to the Dalmore community and indeed to the Western Isles.
“I have already spoken to representatives in the area and discussions will take place over the coming weeks as to how best to utilize the funding to maximise the community benefit.”
The money for Carloway and Dalmore will be administered by the local community councils whilst the sporting fund will be run by the Western Isles Development Trust. Details of how to apply for funds will be publicised in due course.
The rig is expected to soon leave the Western Isles to continue its journey to Turkey for scrappage.
Those involved in the salvage of the rig after it ran aground on Lewis in a storm had hoped the ship, Hawk, would depart earlier this week.
However, final minor repairs to damage and checks to its fastenings have still be completed.
Transocean Winner’s journey from Scotland would first involve a stop in Malta for the removal of certain parts of the structure,