A leap towards getting a permanent home

Bùth Bharraigh has been on a long journey to try and secure its own premises.

The building we are currently operating from, the Old Co-op Building in Castlebay, is owned by CNES who had plans to demolish it. Bùth Bharraigh would like to repurpose and renovate the building for their continued use.

We entered the community asset transfer (CAT) process in 2019 to try and maintain our current location which would enable them to develop their social enterprise further and give the business the security of a permanent place from which to operate.

Initially, our transfer request was terminated and then, after another submission, it was turned down on 2nd of July 2020. We lodged an appeal against the decision.

On 21st January 2022, we gave a presentation to the Community Asset Transfer Appeals Panel of CnES. On 16th of February we received the decision notice. The panel granted us the transfer for the following reasons:-

“1. After taking into account all relevant considerations and exercising its function in a manner which encouraged equal opportunities, overall, the Appeals Panel held that:- i. agreeing to the request would be likely to promote or improve: a. economic development, b. regeneration, c. public health, d. social wellbeing, and e. environmental wellbeing; ii. agreeing to the request would be likely to reduce inequalities of outcome arising from socio-economic disadvantage; iii. the benefits that might arise if it were to agree to an alternative proposal in respect of the land (in particular the demolition of the building) would be less than the benefits of agreeing to the request as set out above; and iv. there were no reasonable grounds for refusing the request and that it should be granted.”

CnES Decision Notice 16 Feb 2022

We would like to thank the Appeal Panel of CnES for hearing our case and dealing with it in a fair manner.

Sarah MacLean, Manager of Bùth Bharraigh said “This has been a long road and we would like to thank all those that have shown us support; the local community, the current Castlebay & Vatersay Community Council, our producers and visitors to the Bùth from all over the world. There are so many individuals who have helped along the way by giving their time and/or money, we are extremely grateful.”


“We are not quite there yet but this is a massive step forward. We now need to raise the money to renovate and make it something special for the whole island. It is a tremendous relief and achievement to have finally got this far.”


We would also like to highlight the help and support of the Community Ownership Support Service (COSS) who have been invaluable throughout this whole process. We would never have got to this stage without them.


Bùth Bharraigh look forward to working in partnership with the CnES on this and future projects.



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