Eigg cel­e­brates 20 years since its his­toric com­mu­nity buy­out

The Oban Times - - News -

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.

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