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The View from Altandhu

July 16, 2014
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Brighter later...

Brighter later…

Greetings from our new office. CCDC staff (all 1.54 of them) have relocated to the former smokehouse building in Altandhu. We are based in the Coigach Suite (aka the portacabin round the back) so feel free to call by and admire our gracious surroundings – by the time you read this we will have some guest tea mugs .  Please get in touch first to make sure we are around -

NEW phone number:  01854 622 744

NEW email:  info@coigachcommunity.org.uk

NEW office: the Smokehouse, Altandhu, Achiltibuie IV26 2YR

And it was..

And it was..

 

Our registered office remains Coigach Community Hall, Achiltibuie IV26 2YG

 

 

A Brief Update

May 6, 2014
by

Our Newsletter…

is in the pipeline but in the meantime, here’s the latest from CCDC

Achiltibuie Tractor

 

 

 

 

Achiltibuie Schoolhouse

Still empty…  but we had an excellent response to our petition. We asked the community if they were in support of surveying the schoolhouse with a view to possible community ownership. We now have at least the 20% support required to seek funding for the next step which is undertaking a structural survey. Highland Council may be able to transfer the building to us – providing we can prove that they don’t need it anymore and that we can put it to do good use. Current possibilities include a community-owned family home, conversion to flats, a flat and work/office space …or indeed, a schoolhouse!  Any of these would be a great asset to the community but whatever happens it’s clear the house needs work and improvements to bring it up to modern standards.

 

Acheninver Youth Hostel

 

SYHA Postcard

The Youth Hostel will see another season under the management of      Scottish Youth Hostel Association but its future after that looks unsure.  We continue to discuss future arrangements with owners Scottish  Wildlife Trust and the SYHA. Is it practical to run as a community-  owned hostel? Do we have the resources? Could we make it work? All  these remain questions and as yet we don’t have answers!  We know  people in the community are concerned about the hostel which has  been bringing visitors from all over the world since it opened in the  1930′s. Does today’s visitor require more sophisticated  accommodation? Or is there a market for staying in basic accommodation? It is in a spectacular location and we’re sure someone, somewhere would just love to come and run it! Join the debate on our Facebook page: Coigach Community Development Company or email us.info@coigachcommunity.org.uk

High Speed Broadband Coverage

The high-speed, fibre-optic network is expanding. The cities have it, it’s coming soon to towns, a little later to some rural areas, later still to others and there are some places that it doesn’t look like it’s going to reach. Guess where? We are looking at options and seeking advice so that Coigach doesn’t miss out. Access to speedy, efficient broadband is now (or certainly will be) essential for most businesses and evidence shows it influences people’s choice of where to live and work. It’s particularly relevant here where so many people work from home, are self-employed or live some distance from services, customers and suppliers.

 

Coigach residents gather to wait while their status uploads.

Coigach residents gather to wait while their status uploads.

 

Coigach and Assynt Living Landscape

New staffing news include the appointment of Coigach’s own Richard Willliams as CALL Development Manager, while the new Assistant Development Manager post will be shared by Fiona Saywell and Elaine MacAskill from Assynt.

Keep up with project plans, what’s on and volunteering news on the CALL Website coigach-assynt.org/latest-news/

And something for the weekend.. Culag Wild Wood Weekend: Friday 9th May: 6.30pm Barbeque, 7.30pm Activities for all, 8.30pm Music round the bonfire. For further details please contact fiona@culagwoods.org.uk   phone 01571 844 368    Food, drinks, camping … all welcome.  First burger & drink provided then BYO drink and food to barbeque.    wild woods ccwt poster

 

Badentarbet Pier and Old Dornie

Following the release of the report we commissioned from Wallace Stone which confirmed that Badentarbet Pier is in a poor state of repair, Coigach Community Council (CCC) made an open invitation to discuss the matter at their meeting on 10th Februrary. The report highlighted the problems but also made recommendations for potential improvements and work required.  Following the meeting, a new Piers and Harbours Users Group was formed and is currently working under the auspices of the  CCC  addressing the issues raised.

 

Achiltibuie Smokehouse

Development Officer Peter Muir is working on improvements to the building and CCDC Staff will soon be moving into the the smokehouse office – where you can visit!  Once the phone line is installed we’ll post the new number here on the website but for the time being we can be contacted via our new email addresses:

For general enquires please contact:    info@coigachcommunity.org.uk

Local Development Officers:

Anne Campbell      anne@coigachcommunity.org.uk

Julia Campbell       julia@coigachcommunity.org.uk 

And remember, if you are looking for a covered (clean-ish) space to work in the short term, the smokehouse is available – at no charge. Once we’re installed it should be easier to pop in - but do get in touch if you would like to use space in the smokehouse for work or projects.

 

Ahoy There!

056

 

Coigach Coastal Rowing Regatta takes place Friday 16th/ Saturday 17th May. St Ayles’ Rowing Skiffs from all over Scotland will be here for a weekend of maritime fun and competition with our own boats; the Coigach Lass and the Lily-Rose.  On Friday 16th May there is an open screening of artist Neville Gabie’s film AFLOAT which documents the building, launch and activities of the Coigach skiffs.  AFLOAT will be shown at 7pm in Coigach Community Hall. All welcome. For further details click on  Coigach Coastal Rowing  and for information about Neville Gabie’s  film click: AFLOAT .

For accommodation visit Achiltibuie Tourist Association’s website www.coigach.com  for camping contact Port a Bhaigh Campsite (opposite the Fuaran Bar).

 

 

Renewable News

CCDC and subsiduary companies Ben Mor Hydro and Coigach Wind Power Ltd were recently shortlisted for a FReSh  Award in early May.  FReSh  (Fintry Renewable Energy Show) is an exciting annual event, which showcases a wide variety of community initiatives including innovative ideas for transport, food, housing; inspirational speakers and lots of informative events, stalls and activities. A great weekend all round (but we couldn’t go) – to see what we missed click here! FReSh  And congratulations to  Callander Community Hydro who won the award!

 

A Night to Remember

Tuesday 3rd June 2014, Coigach Community Hall, Achiltibuie  BUDAPEST CAFE ORCHESTRA are back!

The Budapest Café Orchestra play powerful and driving folk-based music from Eastern Europe inspired by the music of European gypsies. The richness and dynamism of Balkan music is on display here in all its untamable glory.

Tickets on sale at the door.   Further info here: Budapest Cafe Orchestra

And for other nights to remember.. ceilidhs, concerts and other goings on click here What’s On in Coigach 

Coigach Gathering 2014:  Saturday 5 July, Badentarbet Green.

 

What’s the future for Achiltibuie Schoolhouse?

March 11, 2014

2012-05-16 18.48.58

Achiltibuie Schoolhouse provided a home for teachers since it was built – probably around the time of the Education Act in the  1870s.  Now it is empty.

When the last head teacher retired and moved out two years ago, it was not offered as accommodation when the new post was advertised and we understand it is not going to be transferred (from the Education Department) to housing stock.

If there is a demonstrable community benefit, Highland Council, may be able to transfer it to the community so that it remains an asset to the area.There is potential here for a family home or conversion to flats which could accommodate future teachers or other key workers etc; there may even be scope for achieving this through a housing association which might simplify the process.

We know the house needs work – but how much? Before we go any further, we have been advised to conduct a full structural survey. There may be funding available for this important first step providing we can show community support for it. Armed with this information we will all be in a better position to see what the possibilities and  problems are.

Some feel it would be better to persuade the council to keep the house and renovate it themselves –  if they have the resources to do. Others fear it may be sold on the open market and may become another holiday home, or if left, may deteriorate further and/or have to be demolished.  

If you have any suggestions or comments please get in touch. If do you support the idea of surveying the schoolhouse with a view to community ownership please sign the petition  which will be available in Achiltibuie Stores from Monday 17th March – or email us at the address below.

(Community Support = views from people on the local electoral roll but it would still be interesting to hear views from the broader community, especially those that have similar experiences and issues).

coigachldo@hotmail.co.uk

….and remember you can like us on Facebook:  Coigach Community Development Company 

  Coigach Community Development Company and follow us on Twitter @coigachcdc to join in with this and other discussions.

Work on the wild side!

March 5, 2014
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The Commute

The Commute

Following the success of £3m Stage 1 bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Scottish Wildlife Trust, on behalf of Coigach and Assynt Living Landscape (CALL) Partnership is now looking to appoint an Assistant Development Manager.

Title: Assistant Development Manager
Coigach – Assynt Living Landscape Partnership

Status: Full-time for 14 months (job-share will be considered)

Salary: £24,000 per annum

Location: Lochinver, Sutherland

Closing date: 21 March 2014

For more information and application details please click here:  Scottish Wildlife Trust Jobs Page

Planning Permission for Coigach Turbine.

February 24, 2014
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Last week Highland Council Planning Committee voted unanimously in favour of granting planning permission for our community wind turbine. This is a great step in the right direction towards a reliable income stream and follows over 10 years of work in preparation by the Renewables Working Group, CCDC, Coigach Windpower Ltd and many other supporters. There is still plenty of work ahead but it’s very encouraging news.

Supporters who attended the planning hearing celebrate with a cup of tea.

Supporters who attended the planning hearing celebrate with a cup of tea.

Read more here in the West Highland Free Press coverage.

 

Green for Go! Ben Mor Hydro Granted Planning Permission

February 7, 2014

Acheninver Mill Remains

If you walk along the burn at Acheninver, you will find the remains of the old mill once driven by the flow of water there. Now that Ben Mor Hydro has been granted planning permission we should once again see that very water power put to good use again. This joint venture with Ben Mor Estate landowners, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Coigach Community Development Company, is now a stepping stone nearer generating hydro-electric power to sell to the national grid. Income will then be invested in local projects that will benefit the whole community. The turbine house will be built on the croft adjacent to the Acheninver Burn with the necessary infrastructure further upstream. If you are in the area come down for a look – it’s a lovely walk from the Youth Hostel car park at Achavraie, down the burn to the beach!

Acheninver Burn

Acheninver Burn

Acheninver Burn Mill Stone

Badentarbet and Old Dornie – Piers report. What next?

February 3, 2014
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Badentarbet Pier

 

Following the report on Badentarbet Pier and Old Dornie Harbour presented at a public meeting last month, Coigach Community Council have invited all those with an interest in the Coigach piers to come along to their next meeting:

To read the full report click here Coigach Piers Report WS

Notice of Meeting of the Coigach Community Council  Monday 10th February  2014 in the Hall at 7.30pm

Provisional Agenda

1. Present and Apologies for absence.

2. Chairman’s Welcome.

3. Declarations of Interest.

4. Minutes of the Meeting of 11thth Nov 2013.

5. Treasurer’s Report

6. Matters Arising from Minutes, not elsewhere on the Agenda.

7. Police Matters

8.Badentarbet Pier and Old Dornie Piers and Harbour.

9. CALL and Geopark  (updates)

10. Planning.

11. Correspondence

12.AOCB.

13.Date of next meeting. (Agenda items to Chairman Ali Macleod 622 234)

Re Item 8: All interested parties, particularly pier users are invited to the meeting to discuss a way forward following the presentation on Jan 8th by Wallace Stone. If anyone wants an electronic copy of this report please contact annalibeag@msn.com and I will send you a copy

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