A Lottery for the Western Isles will be launched on Saturday 8th July 2017, allowing islanders the chance to win 20% of all weekly ticket sales and at the same time help to improve lifestyle across communities from the Butt to Barra.

Tickets cost only £1 with 60p from each ticket going directly to the area in which the ticket was purchased, using a postcode system.

Six long-established Community Groups have agreed to manage the funds in their respective areas by liaising with local residents to ascertain their wishes on how the funding would be best spent.

For example, Stornoway Amenity Trust will manage the Broadbay Area 1, Harris Voluntary Services will manage the Harris Area 4 and Barra and Vatersay Community Limited have signed up to manage their own local funds in Area 6.

The project has been set up by the newly-formed Western Isles Community Society who facilitate the Western Isles Lifestyle Lottery. WICS is currently awaiting Charity Registration status to ensure accountability. It says that its mission is to "support the residents across all Communities of the Western isles to improve their Lifestyle. This includes providing support to improve the aesthetics of their environment, enhance their local amenitites and to provide events for the benefit of both residents and tourists.  We facilitate the Western Isles Lifestyle Lottery to raise the funding to do this."

The project was announced via the Society’s Facebook page this week and is being updated each evening with answers to frequently asked questions. Further press updates will be made over the next two weeks.

Ticket sales will be available at www.westernisleslottery.co.uk which will go live on July 8th.

An official Launch Event will take place in Stornoway on that day with performances from Lewis Pipe Band and other attractions. Representatives from across the Western Isles will attend to celebrate the beginning of this inter-island partnership.

Tony Robson, Chair of Western Isles Community Society said: “This Lottery has been set up help to regenerate and upgrade the Western Isles.

"It will help to raise money for projects and services which aim to improve the aesthetics and lifestyle of the islands in challenging financial times.

“This might be helping to fund floral displays, street art, Christmas and Hogmanay events, play park upgrades, whatever communities want. All money raised for community benefit in an area will stay in that area. So, for example all monies raised in Broadbay will be spent in Broadbay, all monies raised in Uist are spent in Uist and so on,

“This is an exciting opportunity for the islands and we hope that lots of people support it. We have already had a lot of interest from local residents and we thank local photography firms for allowing use of their work on our very impressive and easy to navigate website. It is a Live website, continually giving information about each ticket sale, amounts of money being raised, as well as informing of the 3 prize winners on a weekly basis.”

Sixty per cent of the money raised from the Lottery will go to the six local community funds. Twenty per cent of each ticket will be shared between three winners each week and the remaining 20% will be paid to the External Lottery Management Company who will manage the entire Lottery. This includes the manning of a dedicated telephone Support Helpline which will help anybody with queries and accept payment of tickets for those who are unable to use the internet.

Supporters will be able to set up a monthly payment in advance with the option to do a one, three, six or twelve month repeating subscription by direct debit or payment card.

Winners will be informed via automated email and will have the money transferred automatically to their chosen bank account. Local media will also be announcing results shortly after 8pm each Saturday evening.

Given the complex nature (geographical spread, funding structures etc), the Society have commissioned Gatherwell Ltd to manage the Lottery. Gatherwell have extensive experience, having already launched bespoke Lotteries for a variety of other local communities and large companies.

Ben Speare, Gatherwell's Managing Director, said: "We are delighted that Gatherwell has been awarded the opportunity to run the new Western Isles Lifestyle Lottery.

"We're looking forward to helping support the communities of the Western Isles." 

The Facebook page is up and running which gives daily updates and can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/westernislescommunitysociety/

Following the launch the main website www.westernisleslottery.co.uk

A support hotline will also be available from 8th July to help with any queries.