Based in Balallan on the Isle of Lewis the Kinloch Community Hub, managed by the Kinloch Historical Society, was formally opened HRH the Princess Royal on Wednesday 3rd October 2019. The hub not only caters for the local community but is also a unique visitor attraction in its own right as it houses the Historical Societies Museum and Archive, a café, laundrette, Charity Shop and Meeting Space.
The project was part-funded by the Outer Hebrides LEADER Programme, along with the Big Lottery, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and the Scottish Governments Regeneration Capital Grant Fund and is a shining example of how a former school building can once again become a beacon within a community.
Princess Anne, who has a keen interest in community development, took time to speak to all present from the society, local community and those who supported the development. She also enjoyed a tour of the facility, lunch and was presented with a gift of Harris Tweed.
Colin Gilmour, Chair of the Outer Hebrides Local Action Group said:
“The LEADER LAG was delighted to support the development of this hub to allow it to deliver many social and economic benefits and opportunities to the local community for now and in the future.”
The Outer Hebrides LEADER Programme 2014-2020 is now closed to enquiries. The programme has committed £2.5m in grant funding to projects throughout the islands since opening in March 2016 – levering-in an additional £6m of external funding to the local economy as a result. The focus of the current Programme was on supporting and developing rural services and facilities, developing and aiding tourism initiatives – in particular natural, archaeological, creative, cultural and Gaelic heritage - as well as encouraging croft-diversification. Projects supported include small rural businesses, community enterprises and voluntary sector organisations.
LEADER has been active in delivering significant community-led local development (CLLD) opportunities in local communities across the Outer Hebrides for over 28 years
Please visit the Outer Hebrides LEADER website at www.outerhebridesleader.co.uk for further information on the programme.