Growth in store for isle community project

Gàradh a’ Bhàgh a’ Tuath volunteers in the poly tunnel.
Gàradh a’ Bhàgh a’ Tuath volunteers in the poly tunnel.

A community project is soon to have a permanent home of its own after working out of three different premises for more than two decades.

Gàradh a’ Bhàgh a’ Tuath, a horticulture-based project offering a range of activities to the community on the Isle of Barra will soon have a base of its own thanks to a funding campaign.

The first sod is due to be cut on July 1, with the purpose built centre opening in Northbay sometime next autumn.

Trustee Angie Foster said she was delighted that the project was about to have its own premises. She told the P&J: “It will be lovely to have all our activities under one roof. At the moment we are working out of three places – our centre next to the garden and polytunnel in Northbay, at the church for the cafe and in a community room in Castlebay.

“It will make such a difference to have a place of our own. ”

The project works with more than 50 people all called volunteers, some with more support required than others.

Ms Foster continued: “We work with anyone who would like to come and take part in the project as long as they are over 16.

“People work alongside each other in the various projects including our garden, a cafe and our workshops.”

When the new premises open it will have floor area five times of the building they work out of at the moment, with a covered entrance with space for cleaning and selling vegetables of plants grown in the garden, a café with commercial kitchen, a craft and training room, an office, toilets and changing rooms.

Ms Foster continued: “The great news is that all the work for the building has gone to a local contractor so all the money spent on the building will stay on the islands.

“When we open next year I want to be able to invite people to come and enjoy a lunch with us. We will serve delicious soup made from vegetables we have grown in our own garden and baked good made in our own kitchen.”

Gàradh a’ Bhàgh a’ Tuath were awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2019.