An exciting and innovative craft project undertaken by the Barra Bunting group is getting close to completion and Western Isles Lottery has paid the costs of the structure for the Barra community.

All funding was raised by those in the community of Barra who support the local Lottery, who have also made it possible for the Community to showcase a significantly upgraded festive lighting display this Christmas.

Inspiration for the tree was taken from a similar structure already in place in Italy. In January this year, the group embarked on what is their second world-wide project following the award winning success of their Barra Bunting initiative.

The bunting project entailed visitors to the Island making a unique triangular piece of cloth to form a large stretch of bunting which was sewn together and put up on display in the Community during the Summer months.

Sarah MacLean, who organised both projects said “Our aim was to involve anybody who had connections with, or an interest in, the Isle of Barra. We advertised far and wide to source donations of either knitted or crocheted squares measuring 12cm x 12cm and have been overwhelmed with the response.

“Over 600 squares have been sent to us from places all over the world including from regions of America, Munich and the UK, which is more than enough to make the ‘yarn-bomb’ covering.

“The tree itself is designed to be 3m in height and will hopefully be erected close to Castlebay Pier so all those embarking will be greeted by the bright and colourful festive addition”.

A drop-in ‘sew-together’ was set up and locals happily got together over the last few weeks to sew all the squares together which encouraged informal community gatherings over a free cup of coffee provided by Bùth Bharraigh, the community shop which Comhairle nan Eilean Siar plans to demolish.

“However,” continued Sarah, “we needed funding to purchase both the frame and the LED lighting to complete the project and are delighted to be receiving the full funding from Western Isles Lottery”.

Janet Paterson of Western Isles Lottery said “this is a great example of innovation to not only enhance the aesthetics of the Island Community but to encourage everyone to work  together in a fun and rewarding way for the benefit and  enjoyment of everyone. This is the ethos of the Western Isles Lottery Team and we are only too happy to support”.