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A major appeal has been launched to gauge public support for the Islands Book Trust.

The IBT is a charity based in the Western Isles which promotes understanding and appreciation of the history and culture of Scottish islands to bring economic and social benefits to island communities.

They say they are back in business after a period of ‘hibernation’.

This year they have arranged eight events and are now publishing ‘Beàrnaraigh na Hearadh’ by Susanne Barding, their first new book for several years which is being officially launched on the island on Friday (September 29).

They say: "We have developed a 5-year business plan to build on this momentum. Our principal requirement is one FTE staff post to supplement our existing part-time post (only 5 hours a week). The plan will be published shortly on our website https://islandsbooktrust.org/

"We are approaching funders to support us with this plan – we need just over £30,000 for two years, starting in 2024, after which we should be financially sustainable. The new post will particularly help us to produce and sell more publications, our main source of income.

John Randall, who has returned to his former post as chair of the IBT, says: "I know we have support for this modest request from feedback from IBT members, those who have attended our events, and the many readers of our books. However, we need to demonstrate this support to funders.

"If you support our ambitions, please indicate this by liking this post and forwarding it to your friends. You can also support us by joining IBT or making a donation through our website."

There has already been considerable support with Professor Donald Meek saying: "I am delighted to support the Islands Book Trust. I have found it inspirational and highly supportive in my own research into different aspects of Hebridean history. It provides an essential, central 'voice' from an area that many regard as merely the 'fringe' or 'periphery'."

And former college principal Boyd Roberston saying: "The Islands Book Trust has an impressive track record of activity and achievements and is a good example of community collaboration, initiative and industry."