Page last updated at 19:36 GMT, Wednesday, 10 October 2007 20:36 UK

Funding for isles storm defences

Archie and Murdina MacPherson
Archie and Murdina MacPherson fled their home during the storm

A package of measures aimed at improving flood defences and roads on the Western Isles have been announced by the Scottish Government.

It has approved four coastal protection schemes and 249,500 towards roads at Iochdar, Howbeg and Muir of Aird.

A 200,000 study will also be done on the marine conditions in the South Fords area to pave the way for new coastal defences.

Demand for improvements have been driven by a tragedy in 2005.

Three generations of a family died on South Uist as they tried to escape rising water and winds.

Archie and Murdina MacPherson, their children Andrew and Hannah and grandfather Calum Campbell perished in the storm.

David MacPherson, Archie's father, has previously criticised the Scottish Executive and islands council Comhairle nan Eilean Siar for a lack of action.

Work on the Iochdar road is expected to be finished in early 2008
The study will look at tidal and wave conditions and their affect on coastal erosion and flooding
Funding for the hydrodynamic study and safe routes programme will be met from 2007/08 budgets

Last summer, the executive made 432,000 available to the local authority for the upgrade of four escape routes.

The 249,500 for the Comhairle's safe routes programme announced by Minister for Environment Michael Russell on a visit to South Uist on Wednesday is additional funding.

He said: "I can confirm approval of four proposed coast protection schemes at Balivanich and Pol-na Craan in Benbecula, Craigston in Barra and Stoneybridge in South Uist.

"We look forward to providing further support to the council once Comhairle has obtained tenders for the construction work."

'No progress' since storm deaths
11 Jan 07 |  Highlands and Islands
Storm escape routes win funding
06 Jul 06 |  Highlands and Islands
Island family leave 'rich memory'
20 Jan 05 |  Scotland
Body of young storm victim found
14 Jan 05 |  Scotland
Grieving relatives speak of loss
13 Jan 05 |  Scotland

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