The community of Keose Glebe have announced the completion of the community land buyout of the local estate on March 22nd.
The Keose Glebe Estate is situated on a peninsula of land between the sea-lochs of Erisort and Leurbost, on the east side of Lewis and it extends to approximately 1,200 acres, almost all of which is subject to crofing legislaton. Seven small islands around its coast are also included.
The buyout process, which began in March 2015, was supported by 95 per cent of the community (based on a 93% turnout in an independent vote) and has required residents to consider and develop skills, plans and ambitons for the future, and how these can strengthen and grow social bonds and economic opportunity for the long term benefit of all.
Training, feasibility works, valuations, mapping, business plans, company set-up, community consultation, legal undertakings and many other requirements have also had to be developed, funded and undertaken.
A Kinloch Community Council spokesperson said: “The villagers of Keose Glebe deserve huge praise for what they have achieved following months of hard work.
“It is very fitting that the much loved and respected Morrison family are now able to hand the mantle of ownership over to those who have been their friends and neighbours for many years.
“Those involved deserve huge praise for their efforts and the best wishes of the wider community as they take their frst steps along what will hopefully prove to be a fruitful
Councillor Alasdair Macleod, Chair of the Sustainable Development Commitee, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, said: “The Keose Glebe buyout is warmly welcomed by CNES.
“This is a large step for a small community, but this is a group with ambiton and vision.
“The Comhairle has fully supported the aspiratons of the people of Keose Glebe and will be fully supportive of the exciting challenges ahead.”
The buyout and a firm foundation for moving forward, has only been made possible by both generous funding and guidance, support and advice from: The Scottish Land Fund; Comhairle nan Eilean Siar; Highlands & Islands Enterprise; the Muaitheabhal Community Windfarm Trust; Marine Harvest; Kinloch Community Council; and Community Land Scotland.
The Estate will now be operated on behalf of the community by Keose Glebe Estate Ltd - a not for proft company - for which charitable status is being sought.