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).
….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.
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
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.
Read more here in the West Highland Free Press coverage.
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!
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
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)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you a copy
Redevelopment of the Smokehouse, the former home of Summer Isles Foods Ltd, is a major project for CCDC – we need it to regain its central role in the community as an important contributor to life here, both economically and socially. When Summer Isles Foods relocated to Alness we lost many things – our main employer, a visitor attraction, something that put us on the map, an association with the finest quality foods and a pride in producing it. We want to retain all of this, and more.
Having bought the Smokehouse with lottery money, locally raised funds and generous donations we are now engaged in securing, repairing and the pursuing the development of the building. The Smokehouse Development Officer, Peter Muir, has visited a range of businesses – many in small communities like ours – involved in food processing and other activities relevant to the potential use for the Smokehouse. We have employed the services of a food production consultant to advise on potential developments. However, despite all the talk of food which is an obvious use for the building with all the superb raw materials we have from sea, croft or hill, the building could have a mixed use with other manufacturing going on under the same roof. We plan to have a retail area selling produce and products made on the premises – to provide a draw for visitors.
When Summer Isles Foods announced their intention to relocate, CCDC and Highlands and Islands Enterprise embarked on an exercise to establish interest from community members in starting up food or other businesses – we’ll take this opportunity again with this blog post to ask if anyone (from the community or beyond) would like to develop any business ideas at the Smokehouse, and if so to come forward and have a word with Peter Muir or any of the directors so that their ideas might be considered along with those others we plan to provide for.
There will be a public meeting on Wednesday 8th January at 7.30pm in the hall, where John Porteous from Wallace Stone will present the report. All very welcome.
The Appraisal of Options report for Badentarbet and Old Dornie Piers and Harbours has been completed by Wallace Stone and hard copies are available at the hall and post office. Thanks very much to everyone who has contributed to this process, much appreciated.