Heritage Lottery Funding

The West Harris Trust secures National Lottery support

The West Harris Trust has received £10000 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, to create an archaeology interpretation project. The project is taking place on the west side of South Harris in the Outer Hebrides. West Harris is a special place known for its spectacular beaches, flower rich machair and local culture and heritage.

Thanks to National Lottery players, the project aims to enhance the awareness of the community and
visitors about our rich natural and cultural heritage.  The project will be based at Talla Na Mara,
the Community Enterprise Centre in West Harris, and will provide a range of learning activities for the community to enjoy.

The project aims to create four interpretation panels displayed outside Talla Na Mara. We want to deliver activities such as sensory workshops and archive film screenings, to create a historical club for the community. This will engage the community in activities, allowing the community to enjoy the rich heritage and culture that they share.

The heritage sites included in the project are scheduled monuments of archaeological and national importance, reflecting coastal settlement patterns from the Bronze, Iron and Neolithic ages. Our
project will allow future generations of the community to be educated about heritage and share knowledge and passion of the area with each other.

Commenting on the award, Murdo Mackay of the West Harris Trust said: “We’re delighted that we’ve received this support thanks to National Lottery players. Talla na Mara has given the community a venue for concerts, film screenings, an art gallery and a restaurant since 2017. We are excited to provide entertainment through our heritage project and it’s great to know that we are a step closer to achieving one of the Trust’s main aims of preserving our heritage.”

Caroline Clark, Head of The National Lottery Heritage Fund Scotland, said: “Our heritage is the rich tapestry on which our lives are built. The National Lottery Heritage Fund wants to inspire as many people as possible to learn from and enjoy that rich legacy, as well as keeping it safe for future generations. We’re delighted that Discover the Archaeology of West Harris is doing just that
and we wish them well in making a positive and lasting change.”

Notes to editors

West Harris Trust

The West Harris Trust is a community land owning Trust responsible for managing 7,225 hectares of land on the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides. After a long history of declining population, limited
employment and local economy and lack of affordable rented housing opportunities, the Trust are working to sustain the community and work to a set of aims in order to do so.

Regular activities include; management of three wind turbines and a hydro scheme, developing affordable rented housing in partnership with Hebridean Housing Partnership to encourage young families to move to the area, providing business space over three different sites and
providing cultural and entertaining community events to engage West Harris residents, at the Community Enterprise Centre- Talla na Mara. Due to continued progress of Trust projects, the population of West Harris has increased from 119 in 2012 to 151 in 2019.

About the National Lottery Heritage Fund

Using money raised by the National Lottery, we inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future. 

Visit www.heritagefund.org.uk.

Follow @HeritageFundUK on TwitterFacebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund 

Further information

For further information, images and interviews please contact Carolyn Cluness at the West Harris Trust on 01859 503900 or visit www.westharristrust.org.