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Kinloch Historical Society, based in the community hub in Balallan in the former primary school, has been awarded accredited status by Museums Galleries Scotland.

The designation is the UK industry standard for museums and galleries.

Commenting on the designation, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Museum & Tasglann nan Eilean said the historical society’s volunteers, trustees and staff had put in a “huge amount of time, effort and hard work” to obtain the recognition.

Ken Roddy Mackay and Anna Mackenzie of Kinloch Historical Society are pictured with the accreditation certificate.

On Tuesday (22 November) KHS held a formal opening ceremony to celebrate their new status as fully accredited museum.

They said: "We are very pleased to announce that the hard work of the KHS team has been recognised and their museum has been awarded fully accredited status.

"This is a significant achievement, as the Accreditation Scheme exists to ensure museums manage their collections properly, are governed appropriately, and fully engage with their visitors, all to a nationally agreed industry standard. The Accreditation Scheme in Scotland is managed and assessed by Museums Galleries Scotland.

Accreditation opens up increased access to funding and other opportunities, allowing museums to host touring exhibitions and gives access to professional advice and support. It also gives confidence to donors and sponsors who may wish to support the museum in preserving heritage and inspiring future generations. More information about the scheme can be found here.

Kenneth Macaulay, Chairman, Kinloch Historical Society said: “This award is a quality standard that shows that KHS has performed to a high standard and are working to achieve improvement going forward. It demonstrates that the museum has met a national standard and will enable partnership working with other accredited museums.”

Kinloch Historical Society recently installed four kiosks into their museum displays, made possible with grant funding from Museums Galleries Scotland. This enables them to incorporate more interactive, video and audio content into their display narratives. They are currently working on Clan Mackenzie research, in particular its links to Seaforth Head. This is in preparation for the proposed Clan Mackenzie international gathering in 2025.

Kinloch Historical Society began work converting the old school building in Balallan, Isle of Lewis, into a Community Hub and Museum back in 2016. The Museum opened in 2019, showcasing local heritage from the Kinloch area, and has an impressive archive of documents and photographs relating to local genealogy and history. Since opening, the team have undertaken several successful projects and exhibitions, including how WW1 affected the local area, and more recently the Pipe Tunes of Pipe Major Alex M. Maciver. They have also published a number of local history books on topics ranging from cookery and education to WW2, as well as offering regular talks and demonstrations to keep local people engaged and interested in their local heritage.