The West Harris Trust are delighted to announce the official opening of Talla na Mara community enterprise centre on the 17th November 2017.
Special guest VIPs are Ben Fogle who became an honourary resident of West Harris after living on the island of Taransay for a year as part of the BBC reality series Castaway, and Alex Passmore from Leverburgh Memorial School who won a competition to name the centre.
The celebrations will start with cutting the ribbon, followed by a drinks reception and local entertainment in the afternoon, and a Ceilidh in the evening.
The project was developed by the West Harris Trust, a charity who manage the land and assets of the estate on behalf of the community.
The centre was designed to address the needs of local people by providing employment and business opportunities and a much-needed community meeting place, whilst also providing facilities for the thousands of tourists who visit West Harris every year.
In April 2014 a funding package was secured for the project by the Scottish Government. The Big Lottery Fund, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Coastal Communities Fund, The Robertson Trust, Scottish Hydro Electric Community Trust and an in-kind contribution from the West Harris Trust.
Rural designs architects from Skye were chosen to design an outstanding ‘multi-purpose center’ with John Murray and company awarded the construction contract.
The build officially began in May 2015, and Talla na Mara opened its doors to the community and visitors in February 2017.
Open year round, Talla na Mara is home to a small community of artists and designers, a light filled gallery displaying work from local artists or local interest exhibitions, a space for film, theatre and live music performances, three campervan pitches and a restaurant.
The Trust have been overwhelmed by the support they have received and the success of their first season.
To date Talla na Mara has hosted five weddings, three conferences, parties, training days, a puppet show, film screenings, BBC broadcasts and training events.
The completion of the project has helped the Trust to achieve their aim of revitalising the community by creating opportunities for people to live and work in West Harris.
The official opening is funded by the Big Lottery celebrate fund.