Essential maintenance work resumes at Butt of Lewis Lighthouse

Butt of Lewis Lighthouse

Our staff and contractors resumed work at the Butt of Lewis Lighthouse, on the Isle of Lewis, on 2 July 2020. During the lockdown period maintenance had been delayed or postponed in order to protect our contractors, staff and the public. Now that the Scottish Government has initiated a recovery plan we have an operational need to return to these suspended projects in order to complete them before the winter which is in line with Phase 2 of the construction industries return to work plan.

The work will require them to stay in rented accommodation nearby. Whilst in the local area staff and contractors will take every precaution to avoid unnecessary contact with the local community and remain socially distant throughout.  They will follow Government advice on hygiene and other precautions to protect both themselves and the community from Covid19.

Please be reassured that health and safety is our primary objective with regards to all our employees and contract employees as well as members of the public.

The Northern Lighthouse Board is an essential service under the terms of the Coronavirus (COVID-19): construction sector guidance (issued 28 May) for the transport sector:  

“Transport sector… Operation and essential maintenance of the transport network

The safe and effective operation of transport network is essential to the national response to COVID-19. There are a number of smaller scale projects that are required to be delivered which are essential and time-critical for the safe and effective operation of the transport network in Scotland. Works include essential road and rail repairs, essential structure repairs and ongoing safety monitoring of the networks….”

If you have any concerns regarding the resumption or conduct of this work, please contact  NLB’s Director of Operations, Captain Phil Day on or 07785 300366.

Refurbishment and upgrade of Butt of Lewis Lighthouse

The work we are carrying out at the Butt of Lewis Lighthouse involves replacing the rotating optic with a static flashing LED in order to achieve more efficiency and lower maintenance costs. We are also  refurbishing and redecorating the tower and mess facilities in the neighbouring building.

Graeme Macdonald, Project Lead with the Northern Lighthouse Board said: “Our contractor, TRAC, resumed work on site on 2 July after putting in place measures to allow safe working under Covid-19 restrictions. 

“Fortunately a lot of the work has been external painting of buildings, so it hasn’t been difficult to complete the work while socially distancing, and the good weather for most of July has allowed them to make good progress.

“Next week TRAC’s electrician will arrive on site to get to work on the electrical refit in readiness for the new fixed LED light to be commissioned and we’ve scheduled to have everything complete by the end of September.

The Butt of Lewis Lighthouse has been guiding mariners safely through Scottish waters for over 150 years. This essential refurbishment and upgrade work means this iconic lighthouse will be fit for purpose for many more years to come.

The Lighthouse was built by David Stevenson in 1862 and was converted to automatic operation on 30 March 1998.


This news article has been updated since it was first published on our website on 2 July 2020.
For all media enquiries, please contact:

Fiona Holmes
Communications Officer
T: 0131 473 3100
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