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Highland Community Group hailed for entrepreneurial excellence

A community hub has been credited with attracting tens of thousands of visitors a year to a rural part of the Highlands.

GALE Action Forum, which represents the community in Gairloch and Loch Ewe and works with more than 100 local businesses, aims to environmentally and economically regenerate the area through community action and community-owned social enterprise.

The GALE Centre provides a permanent outlet for local people to sell their products and baking it creates year round local employment opportunities for the staff and those who supply the shop and cafe. 

The hub generates vital funds for GAALE with all profits made in the hub being used to fund new community projects or subsidise the Trust’s existing work. 

The project was the recipient of the 2023 Scotland Loves Local ‘Enterprising Community’ award , after judges heard about the economy-boosting impact of the visitor centre and community hub, which is closed just one day in the year.

Its nomination stated: “Between May 2022 and March 2023 it welcomed almost 24,000 visitors to the community of just 1,000 people.

“Through employing local people and utilising the services from local producers and businesses, GALE keeps the money generated by its activities within the area. 

“They employ local people, utilise more than 50 local producers and businesses, have the services of 17 community bakers, as well as nine charities or community groups. The wealth and opportunities created by GALE are kept for the benefit of local people.”