A community benefit society producing woolen yarns on a Hebridean island is to get £90,000 support to become to a trading social enterprise.
The expansion of Uist Wool, which runs a mill and wool centre on Grimsay, between North Uist and Benbecula, is being backed by development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
Specialising in one of the oldest native Scottish breeds, Hebridean sheep, the society spins a range of yarns for knitting and weaving using local fleece. They will be sold under the Uist Wool brand, with craft workers commissioned to create garments and furnishings to showcase them.
Set up in 2011, Uist Wool has raised more than £1million in public and private funding to build and equip its premises and train workers. HIE’s support will help cover revenue costs until a steady income stream is established.
Last year the society took on a new team of six employees, including full-time director, Dana Macphee.
Ms Macphee, said: “This is an exciting time for Uist Wool as we’ve gradually put all the pieces together to finally launch the trading element of the enterprise and move into the recently built wool centre annex at the mill.
“With the new website now online and the mill busy spinning new yarn collections for 2017 it feels good to showcase the fantastic qualities of local wool to a wider audience at home and overseas.”