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Laidhay Croft Museum

HISTORY COMES TO LIFE THANKS TO CASE 29 January 03

Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise (CASE) is giving history a helping hand with a grant for the Laidhay Croft Museum at Dunbeath.

The Laidhay Preservation Trust has been awarded 5,700 via the Community Economic Development (CED) programme - administered by the development agency - to build a shed in which to display historic crofting tools.

The Laidhay Croft Museum is a thatched croft house adjacent to the A9 and houses a large collection of household and crofting artefacts.  Over the past 28 years, the museum - which is open daily during the summer months - has proved very popular with visitors and locals alike.


EANN SINCLAIR (Head of Strengthening Communities) and ELISABETH CAMERON
(Manager of the Laidhay Croft Museum) inspect the exisiting display

However, the Trust's extensive collection of crofting and agricultural equipment cannot be put on show for the public because of a lack of space.  With support from the CED programme, the Trust will be able to build a shed to house the artefacts, which include blacksmiths bellows, small carts, ploughs and harrows.

Commenting on the project, Elisabeth Cameron, secretary of the Laidhay Preservation Trust said: "We are delighted with the support from CASE towards the cost of building a shed to display the larger crofting tools.  We now await the outcome of an application for assistance from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

"All going well, the building will be in keeping with the style of the existing croft house and will allow us to interpret the full story of a working croft in the past and the methods of working the land that have
long since been discontinued."

Head of Strengthening Communities at CASE, Eann Sinclair said: "The Laidhay Museum is a very popular attraction and the addition of a shed to display larger items in the Trust's collection will enhance the visitor experience.  "The project fits nicely with one of the CED programme's main priorities which is to promote green or cultural tourism in the Caithness and Sutherland area and to support activities which sustain the local culture and heritage."

CED is a partnership programme that seeks to target funds for sustainable development activities undertaken by communities most in need of support.  The programme is financed by the European-funded Highlands and Islands Special Transitional Programme and various public agencies.