Celebrating 25 years of community ownership 1997-2022

Scotland’s year of Stories 2022 Community Fund gave Comunn Eachdraidh Eige – the Isle of Eigg History Society – a great opportunity to celebrate the 25 years of Eigg community ownership in a variety of ways. 

Exhibition at St Columba’s church, Isle of Eigg 

Using St Columba’s church as an exhibition venue was an excellent opportunity to present a unique selection of archive documents documenting the long and arduous process which the community went through, and which raised public awareness of the need for land reform in Scotland. (Please note that the exhibition will now continue until end of November 2022.) 

The exhibition went down very well with our summer visitors who wrote moving messages on our visitors’ book. A selection of news footage from the 1980’s and 90’s was also shown, which brought those who attended back to those turbulent times whilst bringing to the fore memories of many people who have now passed away but were very much part of old Eigg.  Meanwhile the stories of the people who lived through it all, are being recorded for posterity. 

Download the free app: “Isle of Eigg, 25 years of Community ownership”

A further legacy is a phone app for our visitors to download and discover the story of the Community buy-out as you go around the island. It can be downloaded by scanning this QR code. 

Online event, Wed 2 Nov 7.30pm:  “The power of the Eigg Story, yesterday and today”  

Our final event is an online discussion with three Scottish Authors who have all played their part in the Eigg buy out campaign, Alastair McIntosh, Lesley Riddoch and Andy Wightman. Before the time that the community on Eigg had found its voice, each of them in turn spoke on our behalf.

Alastair was one of the founder members of the original Eigg Trust, which was then transferred to the community on Eigg in 1994. A director of the Centre for Human Ecology at the time of the buy-out, he has written extensively about community empowerment and the story of Eigg features strongly on his “Soil and Soul.”

Andy started to map the ownership of Scotland in his pioneering work, “Who Owns Scotland”, and questioned the reach of the much-awaited Land Reform legislation in his latest book, “The poor have no Lawyers.

Lesley, who took her award-winning radio programme “Speaking out” to Eigg in 1994, which led to the community finally finding its voice, has discussed the Eigg buy-out in her book “Blossom”.

25 years later, the question is:  are people in Scotland still facing the same barriers to access land assets, what has changed and what still needs to change? 

To take part in this free online event on Wednesday 2 November 2022 at 7.30pm and put your own questions to this amazing panel, you can register here.

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