The Pairc Trust are celebrating a Christmas bonus for their community-owned estate, after picking up the keys to the old care unit in Gravir yesterday (Tuesday December 18th).

Exchange of contracts yesterday meant that not only are the Trust ‘in for Christmas’ at the property, but that renovation work can start and be completed next year, allowing two families to take up tenancy in the building by Christmas 2019.

The Trust plans to convert the old building, which is near Taigh Ceilidh within the Cearn Aonghais scheme in Gravir, into two homes, each big enough for three people, with a bedroom, bathroom and living space downstairs and an en-suite bedroom upstairs.

Estate office manager Fiona Stokes told welovestornoway.com today (Wednesday): “We became a community-owned trust in 2015 and we carried out a housing needs analysis in 2016.

"Shortage of rental property was definitely a need and is fundamental to encouraging people to live and to stay in Pairc."

Funding applications are in an advanced state and it’s hoped work will start on the property in the spring.

If all goes well, the two new homes will be ready for occupation by next Christmas. They’ll then be managed jointly between Pairc Trust and Tighean Innse Gall (TIG).

Fiona said: “This is the first tangible project we will be able to deliver and a real testing ground. It means we will have something to show for the new community ownership of the estate.”

The pictures show architects’ drawings of the new development and a view of Gravir with Cearn Aonghais on the right. (Pairc Trust).