National Lottery supports new community facilities for Eigg

The Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust is delighted to announce an award of £1,045,000 by the National Lottery Community Fund towards the redevelopment of An Laimhrig, Eigg’s Community Hub.  The building, which currently houses the island’s only shop, café, craft shop and public toilets, will be improved and expanded to provide much needed additional space and new facilities for Eigg’s thriving community. 

Situated at the pier, An Laimhrig is the main community and visitor hub on the island. Built in 1998, the building is now unable to meet its user’s needs. The redevelopment will allow businesses to plan for the future and help safeguard the social and economic future of the island. 

With a 70% population increase since the community buyout in 1997, the Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust has focused on building community capacity to ensure this population growth is sustained through the provision of economic, social and cultural opportunities. The An Laimhrig project is the result of over five years’ consultation, strategic planning and shared community ambition. It will help secure Eigg’s future for generations of islanders and also provide new space for tourists to learn about the island and benefit from new visitor services.

To be completed in time for the 25th anniversary of Eigg’s community buyout in the summer of 2022, the first phase to build a new toilet, shower and laundry block, improve water and power infrastructure begins this summer. Phase two, starting in spring 2021, will refurbish and extend the existing building and adjacent storage to provide space for current and new businesses, and for community facilities. 

The National Lottery Community Fund award provides the last major piece of the funding jigsaw required to proceed with the £3m project. The project is also funded by the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund, an award from SSE’s Highland Sustainable Development Fund, and funding raised by the island. A very small amount of funding is still required and the Trust is exploring crowd-funding and other opportunities. If you can help, we’d love to hear from you!

Rebecca Long, the Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust’s Business Development Manager said;

“Eigg was one of the first community buyouts in Scotland and the original build of An Laimhrig completed in 1998 was the very first flagship project undertaken by Eigg’s community. It is now 23 years later and with a 70% population increase the building is fit to bursting, with Eigg’s only shop, café, visitor-facing businesses and community offices unable to keep up with all the demands put upon them. 

This vital expansion will aid the island’s economic, social and cultural development and secure Eigg’s future for the next generation of residents and visitors alike. Without Lottery funding this project would not have been possible and the IEHT would like to extend our gratitude on behalf of the entire island community. 

Eigg’s Community are working with the design team behind the An Crubh Community Hub on Skye and new Iona Village Hall. Our design team is led by Architects WT Architecture who are known for their award-winning work in the Highlands and Islands.”

Please contact us to find out more about the project and the work of Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust

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