Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Hebridean roots and island community buyout.


South Uist


My daughters have ancestral roots in several places in the outer Hebrides including Solas and Greinetobht in North Uist, Baile a' Mhanaich and Cill Eireabhagh on Benbecula and Loch a'Charnain and Staoniebrig in South Uist. Generations of depopulation have led to our family leaving the islands for places like Glasgow, Australia and New Zealand. My friend Cailean is a more recent emigrant from Lewis to Inverness which is near where I grew up in Dingwall.

I was delighted to hear that the remaining residents of the South Uist Estate, which includes Eriskay and parts of Benbecula, have been awarded £2 million Lottery funding towards a community buy out of the estate.

Other remote Scottish estates have been successfully bought by their communities. Gigha for example is now thriving again. I wish the residents of South Uist Estate good fortune in the future.

PS 14/11/2006 Highlands and Islands Enterprise has donated a further £2 million to the buy out fund.