Work is due to start on May 7th on the Grinneabhat community hub at the former Bragar School in North Bragar.
The building closed for the redevelopment to begin on Saturday (April 20th) with a series of events including a Friday night ceilidh, project information from the architects and a talk by author Malcolm Macdonald as the centre’s Iolaire exhibition drew to a close.
Support from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is helping Urras Coimhearsnachd Bhràdhagair is Àrnoil (UCBA), the Bragar and Arnol Community Trust, to transform the old school building. Project work will be undertaken by O' Mac Construction Limited, with Tighean Innse Gall (TIG) as project managers, and will begin on Tuesday 7th May
Rachel Mackenzie, HIE’s Outer Hebrides area manager, said: "The group has ambitious plans to revitalise the community and improve the location as a place to live and work. The centre has been used as a base for community engagement since the school closed and plans to refurbish the school will enable it to become a quality modern community hub. The focus will be on Gaelic and cultural tourism, serving the area and creating employment and sustainable income for the community. We are pleased to work with the group and to support this project."
In addition to HIE, the project has also received support from a wide range of local and national organisations including the National Lottery Community Fund, the Scottish Government and COSLA Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (with support from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar), the Climate Challenge Fund, the Robertson Trust, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the Scottish Communities Landfill Fund, Western Isles Development Trust and also the Aspiring Communities Fund supported by the Scottish Government and European Social Fund.
During the development period activities will continue in the Barvas and Brue community centre, where a coffee morning was held today (Thursday April 25th).
The picture shows (l to r): Councillor John Mackay (Comhairle nan Eilean Siar), Rachel Mackenzie (HIE), Catriona Campbell (Chair, Urras Coimhearsnachd Bhràdhagair is Àrnoil) and Alasdair Allan MSP on the last day of the old building before redevelopment begins.