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28 July 2014
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Arnish Lighthouse

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South Uist buy-out

I know that this puts me well out of area (sorry), but as I've made clear that I support the move towards community ownership of the land in the isles, I could not pass this by without comment. I apologise to anyone in South Uist who would rather blog about it themselves, but all publicity is needed.

Over the weekend, it became clear that the people on the South Uist Estates (encompassing part of Benbecula, and the islands of South Uist and Eriskay) had to find 4.5m to buy their land (see this page on BBC News ). Although 4m would be available through government grants, another 600k needs to be raised by private subscription. When I look back 10 years to the Isle of Eigg buy-out, they managed to raise 2m within 8 months. Nearly half of that sum came from one donor whose name was not publicised.

This blog is being read world wide. An appeal is made to any descendants from people who were cleared from South Uist and immediate environs during the time of the Clanranald MacDonalds (18th and 19th centuries) to donate any sums they can afford to the appeal, in order that the land can be bought back to be managed and utilised by those that live on it. Until now, a syndicate of 9 families owned the estate, but they have offered it to the residents to buy.

The appeal was launched yesterday (May 21st) at the Boisdale Restaurant in London, which is owned by a descendant of the Clanranalds, who owned the estate until 1834.

As soon as contact details for payments are known, I shall put them on the blog.
Posted on Arnish Lighthouse at 12:18


Hear hear! This is excellent news. I think anything which aids local communities owning their own land is a great step forward. Anyone who can help with this fund would be greatly welcomed I'm sure, and I hope the community are successfull in their bid, which will allow them to mould their own future.

SkyeMartyn from Dunvegan

i want to make a donation to the south uist buy out, but who do i contact to make the donation?

mackinnon from scotland

Why should I pay for some one else to buy land - surely they should get a mortgage like everyone else.

Tony from London

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