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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Community-Owned Estate Awards Over £60,000 to Organisations Throughout Lewis

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Over £60,000 has been awarded to organisations across Lewis by Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn, the organisation which manages the community-owned Galson Estate, over the last eight months.

Between October 2023 and May 2024, Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn (Galson Estate Trust) awarded £60,607.66 through its Community Investment Fund, to organisations across Lewis, including Macaulay College, Lewis and Harris Youth Pipe Band, Western Isles Citizens Advice Service, Taigh Dhonnchaidh, and Social Enterprise Academy.

The Community Investment Fund was established in 2014 to invest funds from the Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn renewables project income back into the community of the Galson Estate.

The programme consists of not only funds but also offers advice, training, guidance and aftercare to support the delivery and development of projects.

The Fund includes a Small Grant Fund, up to £2,000, and a Development Grant, for awards over £2,000, plus a Supporting Growth package for more strategic initiatives.

The Fund aims to support projects, and activities, that can demonstrate they will deliver against the wider objectives of Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn, including; to develop skills; improve health and wellbeing; relieve poverty; protect and conserve the environment; protect and promote heritage and culture; develop and revitalise growing industry sectors; and support active community engagement.

Roddy J Campbell, chairperson, North Lewis War Memorials Committee, which received £20,000, the largest CIF grant awarded so far, commented:

“North Lewis War Memorials Committee would like to express our gratitude for the £20,000 CIF Grant toward the refurbishment of the war memorials in Cross and Borve. 

“This grant has also helped us to lever in additional funding for the project, and we are thankful that the memorials will be preserved for another generation. 

“We appreciate the vision and initiatives Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn undertakes toward the betterment of our community.”

Iain Boyd, Gaelic Medium Business Development Officer from Social Enterprise Academy, which received a CIF grant earlier this year, said:

“The CIF funding has enabled the Social Enterprise Academy to deliver our transformative peer learning leadership programme to young people working in Gaelic in the Galson Estate area, as well as to others from across Lewis and the other islands. 

“It simply wouldn’t have been possible to deliver this opportunity in Lewis and through Gaelic without the funding from Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn, and we are very grateful for the support.”

Jemma MacVicar, Executive Manager, Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn, added:

“Our vision for Galson Estate is a thriving and well-connected community with excellent local services and amenities, which harnesses its natural assets to sustain a unique cultural and social environment.

“To do this, we want to enable local organisations to work to the best of their ability and offering much needed funding to support this is what the Community Investment Fund is all about.”

If you would like to find out more about the Community Investment Fund, and to see whether your project is eligible for funding, please visit www.galsontrust.com

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