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There was a significant moment for the Galson Estate yesterday (Wednesday 27 October) as the foundation stone of Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn was replaced outside the trust’s new HQ.

The stone was carved and placed to mark the day, 12 January 2007, when the people of Galson took their land back into their own hands, founding the community-owned trust which acts as custodian for their future.

Its inscription in Gaelic translates to ‘On this day, 12th January 2007, the people of Galson Estate took ownership of their land’ and its unveiling was part of Latha Mòr Ghabsainn, Galson’s great day of celebration.

The stone was at that time placed outside Galson Farm, but was later re-sited outside the UOG business centre, where it remained until a catastrophic fire in the early hours of 15 February 2019 destroyed the centre, leaving it in smoking ruins.

Reconstruction of a new building began soon after post-Covid building site restrictions were lifted and CalMax Construction completed the external cladding in September this year, after a delay in the materials arriving.

It’s hoped that the fibre broadband connection being installed by BT will be completed in early November and other finishing touches are now being put to the new building, ahead of handover to Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn.

The building is similar in size to the previous premises, but the layout has been remodelled to create more flexible and open-plan accommodation.

The placing of the stone is a hugely symbolic moment for the community, re-emphasising and celebrating their determination to grow a strong community on the land.

Pictures show the former UOG business centre, with the stone outside it (John Maher), work in progress during the rebuild of the new centre (UOG) and the stone after it was repositioned yesterday (Agnes Rennie).