Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has been successful in attracting Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF) for two projects in the latest funding round. Calanais 2025 in Lewis has been awarded £2m and Loch Carnan Business Unit in South Uist £150k. This is year 10 of the Fund and is applied for and administered by the Comhairle’s Economic Development Regeneration Team.
RCGF is delivered in partnership between Scottish Government and COSLA and supports locally developed regeneration projects that involve local communities, helping to support and create jobs and build sustainable communities. The fund is primarily aimed at providing new and / or improved infrastructure to improve the economic, social, and physical environment of communities.
Adjacent to the world renowned Calanais Standing Stones, the Calanais 2025 project represents a transformation in approach to interpreting heritage and delivering visitor services – while keeping the needs of the local community front and centre. To achieve this Urras nan Tursachan (UnT) aim to make the most of the existing buildings, to create an aesthetically pleasing but most importantly, functional facility. The project is a community led response to dealing with the socio-economic challenges faced by the community and making the most of increasing visitor numbers to the area.
Located on a site that has been abandoned and fallen into a state of disrepair for approximately ten years, the Loch Carnan project in South Uist will see the demolition of a large, dilapidated unit subject to abandoned cars and fly-tipping for many years, and the erection of large commercial unit that will be offered to the community for leasing. There is the potential to reignite this area as a thriving business hub as it used to be, and this project aims to act as the catalyst to spark further interest and regeneration.
Cllr Donald Crichton, Chair of the Comhairle’s Sustainable Development Committee said “The announcement today for RCGF approvals is to be welcomed. Calanais is seeing an increasing numbers of visitors year on year and this funding will allow the project to move forward to cater for them in the next few years. The creation of business units in Loch Carnan by Storas Uibhist has been the result of considerable consultation recently with the local community.”
Cllr Paul Steele, Comhairle Leader said “this is great news for the Western Isles – two regeneration projects that have had a lot of community input over the years have succeeded in attracting significant funding which will now accelerate their development.”
Notes to Editors
The core function of Comhairle’s Community Engagement Unit is to support socially and economically thriving communities of the Outer Hebrides. The Comhairle works with business and organizations that seek to create the right economic conditions to improve infrastructure and community wellbeing.
David Macleay, Team Leader, Community Engagement Unit, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Tel 01851 600501