SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan, has urged Western Isles residents to support the the Seallam! Visitor Centre’s recently launched Community Share Offer.

Over 40 years ago, Bill and Chris Lawson began documenting family trees in the Western Isles, and this work evolved into the Seallam! Visitor Centre in Northon, Harris. Bill has now donated his genealogical record of the Western Isles and his vast collection of books to the Northton Heritage Trust.

The Trust have committed to preserving the Lawsons’ legacy, and to developing the centre and its surroundings to celebrate the local heritage and culture of the Hebrides. Planned developments include a new Harris and St Kilda exhibition, a larger bookshop, a tearoom, toilets, an outdoor area and student accommodation.

In order to achieve these aims, Northton Heritage Trust are hoping to raise £100,000 through their Community Share Offer. Residents of the Western Isles can buy one or more shares for £25 per share, while there is a minimum of 12 shares for those looking to support the project based outwith the islands. Isle of Harris residents can also purchase a Seallam Community Membership for £1.

Commenting after visiting the centre on Monday, Allan said:

“This exciting project will greatly benefit the local community and the Western Isles as a whole. I would encourage as many people as possible to pledge their support for the centre’s development through this scheme, which will help share Bill and Chris’s fantastic work, as well as the wider history and culture of the area, with as many people as possible in the years to come.”

More information about the project can be found here -



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