Eigg celebrates 20 years since its historic community buyout
RESIDENTS of a Hebridean island are celebrating the 20th year since its historic purchase by the community.
Twenty years ago Eigg was bought by the community following a major fundraising effort by the Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust (EHT), a partnership of residents which now owns and manages the island, with the support of the Highland Council and the Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT). Prior to 1997, the island was owned by ‘absentee’ German landowner, Dr Marlin Eckhard Maruma.
Since the community buyout, the island’s population has risen to more than 100 people, schools have enough children to make them viable and people are working.
Speaking from the Isle of Eigg, after the publication of the Islands Bill [see page two], leader of the Highland Council Margaret Davidson said: ‘I welcome publication of this bill, which recognises the importance of our island communities and the valued contribution they make.’
Caol and Mallaig councillor Allan Henderson, chairman of Highland Council’s Places Committee, said: ‘This is an important step forward in recognising the unique interests of our island communities and I am pleased that we have been able to engage positively with the Scottish Government on this bill.’
Also proposed in the bill is a statutory protection for the Na h-Eileanan an lar Scottish parliamentary constituency, greater flexibility for councillor representation within island communities, and extended powers to island councils in relation to marine licensing.
Members of the Eigg community celebrate back in 2012.