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Dear Community Member

In 2009/10, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar established a St Kilda Centre Working


Group. The remit of the Working Group was to progress proposals for a Visitor/
Interpretation Centre to celebrate the natural and cultural heritage of St Kilda.
The Centre was conceived of as a high tech, remote-access, facility, because
problems of physical access as well as environmental concerns make it
impractical and undesirable to base such a Centre on St Kilda itself. Several
island communities made bids to host the Centre and, following an open
competition process, the spectacular Geodha Sgoilt cliff-top site at Mangurstadh
was chosen as the preferred location.
The Community Group responsible for the successful bid believe that the project
could be our best chance of securing an investment in Uig which would create
employment, support local businesses and give our young people the chance to
remain within, or return to, their own community.
Over the course of 2011/12 there has been significant progress made on several
fronts. A community enterprise company, Ionad Hiort Ltd, has been established
as a registered charity to make the Centre a reality. Various public agencies
have confirmed their support for the concept and the UNESCO World Heritage
Centre in Paris has named the Centre as their key UNESCO case study in remote
access and sustainable tourism.
The members of the St Kilda Development Group/Buidheann Leasachaidh Ionad
Hiort (BLIH)- Joni Buchanan (Chair), Anna MacKinnon, John MacIver, Cllr Norman
A MacDonald, Janet MacLeod, Murdanie MacDonald, Tony Ingle-Finch, Dr. Sharon
Blackie, Sarah Taylor-Gerloch, Brian Wilson, Malcolm MacLean, Cllr Angus
McCormack and the Directors of Ionad Hiort Ltd - Iain Buchanan (Chair), Janet
MacLeod, Murdanie MacDonald, Cllr Angus McCormack, Hugh Henderson - invite
you, as a member of the Uig community, to be good enough to complete and
return the enclosed community appraisal form.
The community appraisal is to gauge support for the project and to raise
awareness of the work that has been done to date. We would like to gather the
views of the community on how the project might be developed from this point
on and while we will inevitably look to outside bodies for funding support and
other inputs, it is essential that local ownership of the project is retained and
that we reflect the wishes of the community in developing it.
A form is enclosed for each member of your household. We are especially keen
to hear the views of the 16-18 year old in Uig, as we see them as being key to
the future of a sustainable St Kilda Centre project. Extra forms are available for
family members not resident in Uig, but who have an interest in the project and
wish to share their views. Should you require extra forms, please contact AnnMarie on 672 456, uigldo@gmail.com
We look forward to receiving your completed appraisals, as your input is
important to us.
Le deagh dhrachd,

Iain Buchanan
Chair, Ionad Hiort Ltd

UIG COMMUNITY APPRAISAL: THE ST KILDA


CENTRE/IONAD HIORT PROJECT TO DATE
Please return this appraisal, using the envelope provided, by
Friday 14 December 2012
Project Background
The St Kilda Centre/Ionad Hiort project has been on-going since 2009. Please
indicate your awareness to date of these 5 project milestones
Prior to the receipt of this appraisal form, were you aware that

Mangurstadh was the winning bid in a feasibility study to find the


preferred location of the St Kilda Centre (2009)
YES

The St Kilda Centre Development Group was established (Feb 2010)


YES

NO

The St Kilda/Hiort mobile phone app was launched (Nov 2011)


YES

NO

A Charitable Company Limited by Guarantee (Ionad Hiort Ltd) was


established (November 2010)
YES

NO

NO

UNESCO committed to support the project as a Case Study (July 2012)


YES

NO

Language
Gaelic was the only language of the St Kildan community up to the evacuation of
1930.
Do you agree that this should be reflected by the prominent use of
Gaelic throughout every aspect of this project?
Strongly Agree

>>>

Strongly

Comments

Disagree
4

Centre Contents
Although the contents of the Centre have yet to be finalised, BLIH has already
considered some proposals. Please indicate your support or otherwise for
these proposals and comment where appropriate.
Proposal
Permanent St Kilda
Exhibition (Bi-lingual
Gaelic/English)
Static Display Areas
for
Cultural Heritage and
Natural Heritage (Bilingual Gaelic/English)
Interactive Display
Areas for
Cultural Heritage and
Natural Heritage (Bilingual Gaelic/English)
3D tour of St Kilda
Library and Archive
Safe Cliff Walkways
with disabled access
Planetarium/Observato
ry
Screens showing live
web cam film of Bird
Colonies & Marine life
Replica stone cleits
Childrens climbing
wall and play area
Children & Family
Activity space
including navigation
by stars game
High definition
telescopes for
wildlife watching

Strongly Support >>>


Dont Support
4

Comments

Comments: ..........................................................................................
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Project Viability
In order to ensure the long-term viability of the Centre, BLIH has considered
several proposals for income generation. Please indicate your support or
otherwise for these proposals and comment where appropriate
Proposal
Visitor entry fee
Caf
Shop selling
souvenirs/books/arts
&crafts
Renewable Energy
Small Turbines, Solar
Panels, Micro-Hydro
(to reduce overheads
& add to income)
Pay-to-view bird
colony and marine life
web cams
Income-generating
Remote Access
Technology research
centre
Research and
education fee to use
the archive, fee for
research space
Planetarium/Observato
ry fee to use
Online subscriptions
to access data and
technology
Entry fees for

Strongly Support >>>


Dont Support
4

Comments

performances/shows
Hire of Conference
Facilities
Visitor Accommodation

DO YOU HAVE ANY PROPOSALS FOR CONTENTS OR INCOME


GENERATION THAT HAVE NOT BEEN MENTIONED? PLEASE LIST YOUR
IDEAS BELOW
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Project Benefits
BLIH has identified 5 key areas of the local economy that will benefit from the St
Kilda Centre. Do you agree that these areas will benefit from the
project?
Key Area to Benefit
Employment
opportunities
Existing small
businesses in Uig
increased trade
In-migration attract
young people and
families
Retain Population
Population age
balance improve
ratio of young to old

Significant Benefit >>>


No Benefit
4

Comments

Are you supportive of the St Kilda Centre/Ionad Hiort project?


YES

NO

UNSURE

Comments: .............................................................................................................
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Do you have any concerns about any aspect of the development of the
St Kilda Centre?
YES

NO

UNSURE

Comments: .............................................................................................................
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Before this appraisal would you have known who to contact to find out
more information about the project?
YES

NO

UNSURE

Information on Ionad Hiort can be found online www.ionadhiort.org via


Twitter @StKildaCentre and Facebook /StKildaCentre
Alternatively, contact one of the BLIH members, or Ionad Hiort
Directors personally. Or contact Ann-Marie Hewitt, Local Development
Officer, 672 456, uigdo@gmail.com

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