Decision time on the future of the Barvas estate

Communities on the Barvas Estate from Shawbost in the South to Barvas and Brue in the North are being invited to participate in two community meetings on August 14th and 15th which will help decide the future of the area.

The communities on the Barvas Estate are being given the opportunity to buy the land and all its assets as the current owners have decided it is time to move on.

After a previous unsuccessful attempt to secure the estate for the community a newly invigorated Urras Sgire Oighreachd Bharabhais Community Company (USOBCC) has been empowered by the six grazings committees to investigate the feasibility and financial sustainability of the estate.

As part of this process USOBCC are working with a consortium of consultants led by Dr Calum Macleod, originally from the Bays of Harris, and with input from Faye Macleod, Partner with Campbell Stewart MacLennan & Co Chartered Accountants in the Isle of Skye, who has experience of other community buyouts including Stòras Uibhist.

The consultants will produce a feasibility study and a ten-year Business Plan based on the existing activities of the estate and new priorities identified by the community.

An important part of this work is to engage with both stakeholders and the wider community.

At the community consultations, which will take place in Ionad an t-Seann Sgoil, Shawbost on Thursday, August 14th and in the Activities Room at Barvas and Brue Community Centre on Friday, August 15th, participants will hear about the experiences of other community buy outs and progress with the feasibility investigations.

They will also have an opportunity to discuss options for the buy-out and identify priorities for action.

Both meetings will start at 7pm and are expected to finish at 9.30pm.

USOBCC Secretary Angus Macleod says: “We welcome this opportunity to hear directly from the wider community across the Barvas Estate about the potential for community ownership of the land and assets and priorities for future action.”

Continued Mr Macleod: “We are very grateful to HIE and the BIG Lottery Fund for funding the independent feasibility and consultation process. We now hope that as many people as possible will

take this opportunity to attend the meetings next week.”