The demolition for the award-winning Buth Bharraigh community shop in Castlebay - which has aroused a protest campaign in Barra - is in line with the wishes of the community, says Comhairle nan Eilean Siar,

In a statement, the Council said: "With regard to the former Co-op building in Castlebay, Isle of Barra, the proposed demolition of the property was included in the Comhairle’s successful ‘South Uist and Barra Regeneration Programme’ bid to the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund in 2013, reflecting the wishes of the local community.

"The successful bid delivered investment of up to £2m in Barra with two new business units in Castlebay, the regeneration of the Vatersay Hall, and included the demolition of the former Co-op store together with funding for environmental improvements, the nature of these to be agreed by the community in due course.

"Bùth Bharraigh was made aware of the Comhairle’s intention to demolish the building prior to the Comhairle facilitating its temporary occupancy of the building in late 2013 and this occupation was always intended to be of a temporary nature.

"Castlebay Community Council confirmed their decision in 2016 that the old Co-op building be demolished as part of the South Uist and Barra Regeneration Programme."

The Comhairle insist that it has continued to support Bùth Bharraigh with alternative premises including specialist advisory support. "The Comhairle continues to make significant investments to support a range of business and community projects in Barra, recognising the contribution which Bùth Bharraigh and other community enterprises make to the local economy."

However, the existing shop has won widespread praise on Twitter with one erpson commenting that two years ago "I stayed on Barra for two months and spent a lot of time at the Bùth. Through them I met a wonderful range of people and was given a true insight into the island community. I got amazing tourist information, brought local produce and crafts."

There's a on-line petition to save the shop.

https://www.change.org/p/comhairle-nan-eilean-siar-save-b%C3%B9th-bharraigh-isle-of-barra/u/25442919