My name is Emma. I'm a photographer/Aurora chaser/Star gazer :)
What am I crowdfunding for?
This crowdfunder is for the initial stage of a project predicted to cost in the region of £300 000. My aim is to raise £10 000 but obviously the more I manage to raise, the sooner I can restore the building and fulfil my dreams.
My aim for this campaign is to help raise the funds needed to complete the works detailed in a demolition warrant (just for the roof) You can find the warrant application and details on the Island Council website here.
So, what's the plan?
In short it is to carefully remove what remains of the roof and clear out the rubble from the inside. This will enable further inspection necessary for further plans, permissions and the next step of the restoration project.
My beloved Blackhouse
Since 2003 I have owned this Blackhouse next to the Standing Stones at Callanish on the Isle of Lewis. It used to be a tearoom. It had been used as a tearoom since it was last restored and converted from a family home in the early 1980s. When we bought it in 2003 it already was in need of repair. We thought we could handle it. A hurricane took the thatch off the roof in January 2005 and by the end of the year we had to close. By now the roof has pretty much completely fallen in.
What my dream is......
The project is for it to be restored as it was in 1982 as a tearoom, but keeping flexible open space for use as an art gallery/small venue for weddings, talks on various subjects connected to the standing stones, a photography hub, and storytelling. A versatile space, very traditional on the outside but an adaptable inner space to cater to the many varied interests and ideas the enigmatic Standing Stones attract.
My progress so far
Last year I had a feasibility study for the project completed by @Dualchas Architects and a warrant application for the removal of what remains of the roof has recently been approved. As a Grade B listed building every step has to be approved and specialists need to be brought in to maintain the high standards required in such a restoration project. Every step costs money.
As this stage is being completed I will be working on the restoration plans with the architects, the council and Historic Scotland to get the restoration done in a way that protects the heritage and promotes the island in a positive way to a global community.
Updates will be regularly provided on my website and on social media. I will be adding detailed plans and observations from builders and all involved at regular intervals.
Looking to the future........
The Callanish Standing Stones in a normal year bring in upwards of 50 000 visitors from all walks of life and from all over the world. However this year has changed everything but the island is cautiously opened again to tourists at the moment. I've lived here over 17 years now and I know well every year changes. The aim is to create an innovative, informative business that is highly adaptable to unavoidable yearly changes. I'm a bit of a computer geek/nerd and I aim to have most services (within reason) available online. So events can be live-streamed to a wider audience. We have a very good high speed broadband network.
As we finally emerge from lockdown, I see this as a great opportunity to fulfil my long term dream of completing this restoration project and bring this beautiful old Blackhouse 'back from the brink' while helping to enhance the visiting tourist's Callanish experience.
How you can help
For your donation, small or large, you will be playing an active part in helping the Western Isles retain its heritage and recover from a truly disastrous period in its tourism history.
Please take a look at the rewards I'm offering and pledge on your favourite one, or you can simply donate if you prefer.
And if you're unable to do either, you can still help by sharing my project with your friends using the social media icons on this page.
I would most appreciate your help. Thank you.