Uist and Barra projects will bring major benefits
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.