The community owner of South Uist Estate is relocating to new premises purchased from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) at Daliburgh in South Uist.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is supporting Sealladh na Beinne Moire in the purchase of office accommodation for their trading company Stòras Uibhist which has been operating out of temporary premises loaned to them for the last four years.
Sealladh na Beinne Moire is the community landowner responsible for the management and development of Stòras Uibhist.
HIE supported the successful buyout of South Uist Estate in 2006 with its largest ever community land payment of £2m. The community company manages 93,000 acres of land covering almost the whole of the islands of Benbecula Eriskay and South Uist, as well as a number of other small islands. The area is home to a population of around 3,000 people.
The Daliburgh Business Centre is a 365 sq. metre property which will provide adequate space for the 15 staff of Stòras Uibhist to deliver their ambitious plans to secure a prosperous future for the area.
The purchase of the Daliburgh premises will allow Stòras Uibhist to offer flexible office accommodation and other services to local businesses which would produce an income stream for the community to reinvest in future projects.
HIE is supporting Stòras Uibhist with an £80,000 assistance package to help purchase the building and towards the cost of refurbishment which will include building work and telephone and power cable upgrading. The cost is also being met by LEADER funding as well as Stòras Uibhist's own resources.
Margaret Macleod of HIE said: "The community buyout of South Uist Estate has spearheaded initiatives in tourism and renewable energy."
"The Daliburgh Business Centre is the ideal base for Stòras Uibhist to deliver its ambitious plans to build a sustainable future in a fragile area for generations to come. We are delighted to facilitate a multi function business centre which will be run by one of our key social enterprises, ensuring that our property is providing community and commercial benefit."
Chairman of Stòras Uibhist, Angus Macmillan said: "Stòras Uibhist is extremely appreciative of the financial assistance and support that has been provided by HIE to enable the Business Centre at Daliburgh to be transferred to community ownership. The building will provide office accommodation for the staff in addition to making available high quality office space for other businesses. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Diocese of Argyll and the Islands for providing office accommodation for the Stòras Uibhist staff and members in Bornish during our formative years. We simply could not have functioned without this extremely generous gesture."