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Biggest community land purchase in Scottish history

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    Residents celebrate South Uist buy-out http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/75620.html DAVID ROSS, Highland Correspondent, Glasgow Herald November 30 2006 The
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 30, 2006
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      Residents celebrate South Uist buy-out

      DAVID ROSS, Highland Correspondent, Glasgow Herald
      November 30 2006

      The biggest community land purchase in Scottish history will be
      completed today when 2700 islanders on South Uist, Eriskay and Benbecula
      take control of the 92,000-acre South Uist Estate.

      Beacons will be lit on the islands tonight as the residents celebrate
      their historic buy-out for £4.5m. They had a final boost yesterday when
      Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) approved £150,000 of funding to support
      the purchase.

      The board of Highlands and Islands Enterprise agreed to give £2m earlier
      this month, after a £2m contribution was approved by the Big Lottery
      Fund's growing community assets fund.

      The islanders' worldwide appeal has already raised £50,000, which still
      leaves a shortfall of £20,000. But it is expected Western Isles Council
      will make a significant contribution next month, and the purchase can
      proceed as the community has bank borrowing facilities to bridge any gap
      in the meantime.

      SNH will work with the community on the estate to manage designated
      sites of international importance to the natural heritage. The machairs
      of South Uist are an outstanding asset and support a range of habitats
      and species unique to the area.

      David Maclennan, SNH Western Isles area manager, said: "The purchase of
      South Uist is an exciting opportunity for the community and for SNH."

      South Uist community buy out goes ahead

      Hebridian islanders are celebrating a momentous turning point in their
      history as Scotland's largest community buyout goes ahead. The South
      Uist estate will now belong to those who live and work in it, as the
      locals secured the £4.5 million to buy it.

      The Big Lottery Fund has awarded them £2 million, with Highlands and
      Islands Enterprise matching that amount earlier this month.


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