The Keose Glebe Community
The Keose Glebe Estate is situated on a peninsula of land between the sea-lochs of Erisort and Leurbost, on the east side of Lewis.
It extends to approximately 1,200 acres, almost all of which is subject to crofting legislation. 7 small islands around its coast are also included.
A Community Buyout process began in March 2015, and concluded on the 22nd of March, 2016.
There was 95% Community support for the buyout (on a turnout of 93%) in the independent vote held in November 2015.
Historically, the estate was a farm, later owned by the Church of Scotland and housed both the Parish Church and Manse.
In the 1930’s, the land was sold, and subsequently a crofting scheme was put in place by the Government.
Initially, Harris Tweed weaving was the principle local enterprise (almost every home had a loom), and then for a thirty year period from the mid 1960’s, seaweed processing on Tavay Island provided employment – latterly as a community run co-operative.
That facility also supported the building of social housing in the village to support essential workers.
That factory is no longer operational. Weaving is no longer pursued, and crofting activity has significantly diminished. We have lost our local school and recently the local Post Office closed.
Coupled with an aging and falling population we are facing slow decline, and so the challenges we are facing revolve around creating employment opportunities, retaining and attracting families, and providing housing and facilities to enhance community wellbeing and cohesion.
The estate was previously owned by Mr Murdo Morrison of Handa, 18 Keose Glebe, having been in the Morrison family for over 60 years. The estate has a resident population of approximately 40.
The Estate is now operated on behalf of the community by Keose Glebe Estate Ltd – a not for profit company (SC522367) for which charitable status is being sought.
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