Stòras Uibhist have announced that Uist Gifts & Info are the new tenant of the Tourist Information Centre in Lochboisdale.
Uist Gifts & Info will reinstate a tourist information service from the building from April 9th, as well as establishing a gift shop selling souvenirs and gifts.
After Visit Scotland closed the service in 2017, and with the support of the local community, Stòras Uibhist secured the necessary £25,175 funding from the Scottish Land Fund to purchase the building on behalf of the community, ensuring community control over the building’s future use and access to affordable premises for local businesses.
Expressions of interest for the tenancy were sought from organisations who could deliver community benefit and a visitor information service.
To date, Uist Gifts & Info has been operating an online shop and this opportunity will enable them to expand their range of gifts and services, and establish a much needed facility in Lochboisdale Village.
Mary Schmoller, Director of Stòras Uibhist, said: “We are really pleased to have been able to support the return of tourism services to Lochboisdale and we wish Uist Gifts and Info every success in their new venture.”
Bruce Beveridge, interim Chief Executive of Stòras Uibhist added: “This is great news at the start of 2019 given the critical importance of tourism to the island’s economy.
“I am convinced that the return of a tourism hub to Lochboisdale will prove to be a very valuable initiative.”
Donnie Steele of Uist Gifts & Info said: “Uist Gifts & Info aim to bring a new look to the former tourist office at Lochboisdale. We will sell souvenirs, gifts and clothing from the Isles, provide tourist info services along similar lines to our online sites, SouthUist.com, Isleofsouthuist and online shop uistgifts.
“We will work with local artisans and businesses to provide services and local gifts online and in the shop.
“Since the closure of the Tourist Office Uist Gifts has been looking at ways to reopen, improve the service to benefit South Uist and the surrounding islands.
“We look forward to it and wish to thank those who have helped us, particularly Storas Uibhist, Outer Hebrides Tourism, Visit Scotland and the customers who have supported us so far.”
Rob McKinnon of Outer Hebrides Tourism commented: “Congratulations to Uist Gifts on securing the premises. We look forward to working with them in the months ahead to help visitors make the most of their time on the islands.”