I had an excellent day over on Islay this week, visiting some local businesses and organisations in the community.
I started my day off by meeting with Neil Woodrow of the Ionad Chaluim Chille Ile / Gaelic Centre in Bowmore. They are currently celebrating their 20th Anniversary and it was a pleasure to hear of the work they are doing to promote Gaelic language, culture and heritage on the island.
I also met with Rachel MacNeill of the Islay Whisky Academy – where students from many corners of the world were embarking on a week-long intensive course on everything whisky.
From Bowmore, I headed down to Port Ellen to meet with Alyson and Rosie at the South Islay Development Trust. They are working extremely hard to secure funding for the Playing Field Pavilion which will be an excellent asset to the community. This centre will not only provide a hub for local activities and events, it was also look to host small businesses on the island and free up their existing space to expand their childcare provision.
I also had the pleasure of being invited by Peter Nelson and Colin Gordon to visit Ardbeg Distillery and hear about the work they have been doing and their plans for the future. And it didn’t stop at whisky … I also managed to drop in on Ben Inglis at the newly opened Islay Rum Distillery again in Port Ellen.
I then ventured up to Gearach Farm where Scott McFadden showed me the site of his proposed ili Distillery, which will have spectacular views over Port Charlotte.
Lastly, I headed back to Bowmore and met up with Cllr Dougie McFadzean and other locals, before heading home.
It was great to get back over to Islay and I very much look forward to my next constituency visit.