A family business has expanded to encourage more people to visit Harris – and boost the local economy.
Norserv Facilities Management, based in Tarbert, specialises in property management across the island and north of Scotland, and offers up holiday lets under the name Love Harris Holidays.
Now the company has secured £90,000 funding from the Bank of Scotland to buy two new properties, with hot tubs, to attract even more holiday-makers to Harris.
The three and two-bed properties, with sea views, are in Bunavoneader.
As well as catering for tourists in the summer, the company plans to offer the rental properties to When You Wish Upon a Star, allowing families with ill children the chance to enjoy the Outer Hebrides for free.
Norserv want to keep providing local jobs to keep younger generations on the island.
‘100% committed to protecting jobs’
Jamie McGowan, managing director of Norserv Facilities Management, said: “Through the expansion of our business in Harris we are securing up to 40 jobs across the north of Scotland employing locals in Harris and as far afield as the Orkney Isles.
“We are striving to create sustainable employment opportunities for not only those living on our island but for the north of Scotland as a whole. With our various ventures such as Norserv, Essence of Harris, and Loomshed Hebridean Brewery we have supported our local community and will continue to in the future.
“It is vitally important we do this as it guarantees the money stays in Harris and can be invested in local projects and people. This is to help stem the flow of outward migration to the mainland and encourage people to stay on the island. We are 100% committed to helping protect jobs and support communities.”
“The support from Bank of Scotland was a massive help in our expansion. With this support we’ve been able to open our new rental properties and offer something for both tourists, and those looking for respite during extremely challenging times.
Samantha Mitchell, relationship manager at Bank of Scotland: “Tourism to the Outer Hebrides has been rising year on year, and now more than 200,000 people visit the islands in an average year.
“The pandemic severely disrupted travel to the islands and turned the tourism industry on its head. But the rise of domestic travel means that the islands are set to see tourist numbers rise once more and the new Love Harris Holidays rental properties look set to be a very popular destination on the island.”