Community shop and activity hub Bùth Bharraigh Ltd in Castlebay has won a major national award from the Federation of Small Businesses in Scotland.

This is the Community Award for Scotland – and another Barra-based project was one of the competing finalists.

Bùth Bharraigh Ltd have been locked in a fierce battle for survival for years because of plans to raze their premises to the ground as part of a Government-backed regeneration project.

They said yesterday on Twitter: “We are honoured and thrilled to have won the Community Award for Scotland.  It has been a difficult year for everyone, and this is a much-needed lift.  Congratulations to all the other winners and thanks to FSB Awards.”

Bùth Bharraigh is a community hub and visitor information centre. As a social enterprise, it is a route to market for local producers, providing a showcase and sales point for goods and services made by local people. It also sells items such as wholefoods, craft materials and books, concentrating on filling in the retail gaps in this remote location. The services it provides include a laundrette plus laundry service for social care, free WiFi and accommodation-finding service. It is an excellent meeting-place for visitors and a welcoming environment for islanders to come in for a chat.

The other Barra finalist was Cobhair Bharraigh SCIO.  The group supports people in Barra to remain independently in their own homes. Key principles of the organisation are inclusivity, compassion and care. It provides a home-based support service and day-care centre for people with dementia, long-term ill-health, mental, physical or sensory disability; those at risk of isolation or exclusion. There is support also for care givers for whom the stress of caring can often go unrecognised.

(The photographs taken at different times are illustrative and not intended to show exactly what's now available in the shop)