Stornoway is the main town of the Western Isles and the capital of Lewis and Harris in Scotland. It is by far the largest town in the Hebrides, as well as the third largest island town in Scotland. The traditional civil parish of Stornoway includes various nearby villages. The Comhairle nan Eilean Siar measures the Stornoway settlement area including Laxdale, Sandwick and Newmarket.
Today the harbour hosts a fishing fleet (and associated shore-side services), a small marina and moorings for pleasure craft, a small shipyard and slipway, three larger piers for commercial traffic and Stornoway Lifeboat Station, run by the RNLI. Her Majesty's Coastguard operates a Maritime Rescue Sub Centre from a building near the harbour.
A lighthouse, seaweed processing plant and a renewable energy manufacturing yard are situated on Arnish Point at the mouth of the harbour and visually dominate the approaches. Arnish Point is also earmarked by AMEC as the landfall for its proposed private sub-sea cable which would export the electricity generated from the Lewis Windpower wind farm.
The Arnish area is earmarked for key business development within Arnish Point industrial estate. A December 2020 report stated that a new deep water terminal was to be developed, the Stornoway Deep Water Terminal, using a £49 million investment. The plan included berths for cruise ships as long as 360 meters, berths for large cargo vessels, and a freight ferry berth.
The UK’s largest community-owned wind farm, the 9MW Beinn Ghrideag, is located outside Stornoway and is operated by Point and Sandwick Trust (PST). In February 2021, that organisation was shortlisted for the title of Best Community Energy Project at the Scottish Highlands and Islands Renewable Energy Awards. A February 2021 report stated that this operation "already has a number of awards and multiple nominations". Point and Sandwick Trust helps fund community activities "because of the revenue created at our wind farm, Beinn Ghrideag. The 3 turbine, 9MW scheme is built on common grazings land on the Isle of Lewis".
Stornoway has a population of over 5,000 people. Stornoway also forms part of the wider Stornoway area which has a population of over 10,000 people.