Uist and Barra projects will bring ma­jor ben­e­fits

The Oban Times - - News - EL­LIE FORBES eforbes@oban­times.co.uk

THE FIRST in a se­ries of ma­jor com­mu­nity projects has re­cently been com­pleted in South Uist and Barra.

Cothrom Re- Store in South Uist is a so­cial en­ter­prise and vo­ca­tional train­ing pro­ject, which has been set up in Or­mi­clate.

It is thought the pur­pose-built re­cy­cling and train­ing cen­tre will con­trib­ute to eco­nomic growth of South Uist through the cre­ation of jobs and the em­ploy­a­bil­ity of its learn­ers.

Man­u­fac­tur­ing in Re- Store will im­prove en­vi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity of the com­mu­nity, through ser­vice which will en­cour­age re­cy­cling, di­vert waste from land­fill and pro­vide good qual­ity low- cost house­hold goods.

Bar­bara MacDon­ald, man­ager of Cothrom Lt, said: ‘We ex­pect to dou­ble learner num­bers in the first year in the new build­ing be­cause of the ex­tra space and ad­di­tional staff we will be hir­ing.’

Other projects to have re- ceived fund­ing are Vater­say Com­mu­nity Hub, Castle­bay Busi­ness Units and Eriskay Shop.

Fund­ing for the projects has come through the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment’s Re­gen­er­a­tion Cap­i­tal Grant Fund (RCGF) with the Western Isles Coun­cil match­ing the sum from its own Com­mu­nity Cap­i­tal Grant Fund.

In Eriskay, the Co- Cho­munn has up­graded the com­mu­nity shop. There is now a new area for vis­i­tors to come to­gether and a range of goods for the com­mu­nity on of­fer.

‘Thanks to the com­ple­tion of our ex­ten­sion, vis­i­tors to Eriskay are find­ing a much ex­panded dis­play of gifts, crafts and lo­cal prod­ucts in the Eriskay shop,’ said Ca­tri­ona Walker, Co- Cho­munn shop man­ager.

Vater­say Com­mu­nity As­so­ci­a­tion has re­fur­bished its com- mu­nity cen­tre. The cen­tre now has a cafe, wash­ing fa­cil­i­ties, an ex­tended com­mu­nity meet­ing and per­for­mance space, and com­mer­cial kitchen fa­cil­i­ties for larger com­mu­nity events.

In Castle­bay, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has built two busi­ness units to ac­com­mo­date de­mand for busi­ness space in Barra. The coun­cil is now ad­ver­tis­ing for po­ten­tial ten­ants.

Coun­cil­lor Don­ald Crich­ton, chair­man of the comhairle’s sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment com­mit­tee, said: ‘ The suite of com­mu­nity eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment projects de­liv­ered through round one of the RCGF will pro­vide ben­e­fits on many lev­els in the com­mu­ni­ties of South Uist and Barra. Jobs will be cre­ated from the in­come gen­er­ated and the cir­cu­lar econ­omy op­er­at­ing as a re­sult will lead to less waste.

‘The comhairle’s re­gen­er­a­tion team sup­ported lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties di­rectly to de­liver these projects and of­fi­cers were in­stru­men­tal in sourc­ing the fund­ing and pro­vid­ing pro­ject-man­age­ment ex­per­tise to en­sure that these pro­pos­als suc­ceeded.’

Vater­say Com­mu­nity Cen­tre now has a cafe, wash­ing fa­cil­i­ties, an ex­tended com­mu­nity meet­ing and per­for­mance space, and com­mer­cial kitchen fa­cil­i­ties for larger com­mu­nity events.

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