Stòras Uibhist are celebrating the fifth anniversary of the South Uist Estate Community buyout.
To mark the occasion a ceilidh was held in Talla an Iochdar last weekend.
In November 2006 the 93,000 acre South Uist Estate transferred into community ownership and the process of regenerating the economy of the islands of Benbecula, Eriskay and South Uist and reversing years of under-investment began.
Since 2006 Stòras Uibhist has completed a range of projects, including restoring the Askernish ‘Old Tom’ Golf Course, building coastal defences at Kilphedar, clearing sections of the land drainage system and repairing the Loch Bi floodgate, alongside re-invigorating the salmon and sea-trout fishing, expansion of the sporting programme, opening up use of Grogarry Lodge to the community and expanding the level of administration and gamekeeping support for the crofting community. Stòras Uibhist also purchased a new office building in Daliburgh, from HIE, making the company more accessible to members of the community.
Through the intensive efforts of the staff, under the direction of a Board of volunteer Directors and with the wide support of the community, the loss-making sporting estate has been transformed into a developing crofting estate investing in the future of the community.
Since 2006 over £21m has been secured for investment in the largest community-owned windfarm in Scotland, the Lochboisdale Port-of-Entry regeneration project and the Estate infrastructure. These developments will create jobs and generate revenue to re-invest in continuing the transformation of one of Scotlands’ remotest and most fragile economies into a thriving and growing community.