This month sees the 10th anniversary of the buyout of the Galson Estate on Lewis by the Galson Estate Trust (Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn). At 56,000 acres and containing 22 crofting townships, the buyout is one of Scotland’s largest. Three quarters of the population of the estate are members of the Trust and when they voted for their first Board of Directors back in 2004, 76% of the members turned out for the election.
Since the community buyout, the Trust has gone from strength to strength – putting up three wind turbines that will generate income into the community over the long term; constructing a business centre and developing a nature reserve at Loch Stiapabhat.
The Trust is celebrating its anniversary with a series of events and the launch of a £10,000 funding stream through its Community Investment Fund, which reinvests Trust income into the local community.