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At the start of the pandemic in March we took the decision to make online access to our news free of charge by taking down our paywall. At a time where accurate information about Covid-19 was vital to our community, this was the right decision – even though it meant a drop in our income. In order to help safeguard the future of our journalism, the time has now come to reinstate our paywall,

However, rest assured that access to all Covid related news will still remain free. To access all other news will require a subscription, as it did pre-pandemic.

The good news is that for the whole of December we will be running a special discounted offer to get 3 months access for the price of one month. Thank you for supporting us during this incredibly challenging time.

We value our content and our journalists, so to get full access to all your local news updated 7-days-a-week – PLUS an e-edition of the Arran Banner – subscribe today for as little as 48 pence per week.

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The coming together of makers from all across the island on a new website is welcome news indeed.

For the first time people will be able to find the work of nearly 50 independent crafters, makers and artists in one place – not just on Arran, but right across the world.

At a time when it has been just as tough – if not tougher – for sole traders, it is great that they have such a positive outlet for people to see their work.

It is impressive too how the directors of Lamlash Events, and in particular Karen Bell and Michael Gettins, have put this together so quickly after securing funding from Scotland Loves Local.

Visitors love what is produced on Arran and the fact they can now easily browse it in the comfort of their own home, can only help to boost the sales of those involved.

And those who have not signed up would be well advised to get involved or they may find themselves left behind. It is after all, as the website is being promoted, a shop front on a digital high street.

We wish the venture well.

Summer is saved

The fact that summer has been saved by the Scottish government timescale, which sees all lockdown restrictions lifted gradually by the middle of June, is great news for the tourism and hospitality industry on Arran.

Tourism bosses say it is the best news they have had in a long time and there is no doubt that the sector has had a tough year, tougher than many, and it is great that businesses can now plan and look forward to future trade.

We have no doubt there will be challenges ahead but we join everyone in wishing them all to have their best summer yet. Cheers.