Community and cultural development

New ReStore building opens in South Uist

A new carbon neutral sustainable facility has been opened by South Uist learning centre, Cothrom, for its furniture recycling and training project.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has awarded a grant of £127,188 for the project which is in addition to funding from The Big Lottery, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, LandAid, Western Isles Development Trust, Stòras Uibhist and the Scottish Government Regeneration Fund.

‘Cothrom’ which means opportunity in Gaelic, offers a range of flexible learning  opportunities to adults including training and employability skills, and is supported by a full time Gaelic nursery.

ReStore was established by Cothrom in 2006, operating from a small workshop in Bornish, to provide a valuable furniture refurbishment and textile recycling service to the communities of Uist and Barra.

The new facility is situated beside Cothrom’s learning centre in Ormiclate and will allow ReStore to diversify its training and expand its activities.

A broad range of retail and training opportunities will be developed, focusing on recycling furniture, textiles and white goods, gardening and landscaping services, and making and selling recycled timber items such as wooden benches, bookcases and hen houses to order.

ReStore also works with Blythswood Care co-ordinating the local textile bank collections.

Kathleen Stewart, account manager at HIE, said: “Cothrom is an innovative organisation which provides opportunities to people in a fragile island community. We are delighted that our support enables the organisation to develop services provided to the community through the ReStore project.  The new modern energy-efficient facility provides a fantastic base for Cothrom to deliver these services from and we wish them every success as they develop and expand the project.”

A street party is being organised on 27th June by the Adult Learners Forum as a celebration of 25 years of learning since Cothrom opened its doors in 1992, and to wish the manager, Barbara Macdonald well as she leaves her post after 19 years at the helm.

Barbara said: “We would like to thank the funders for their help and support in bringing this project to fruition and we are delighted with the spacious new facility which completes the campus so well. Staff and learners look forward to working and learning in the new workshops, and we look forward to welcoming customers to the new shop.”


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