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 email@example.com 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.
Although not all the comments received by Highland Council have yet been posted on the ePlanning website, with the end of the public consultation period last Friday (4th October) most are now published for all to see. And what a result! It’s clear that among the residents of the community the support for the turbine appears much stronger now than it was when the community ballot took place in 2010! In the 2010 ballot, 69% of residents who voted were in support of the project, but of those 111 Coigach residents who expressed their opinion on the ePlanning site in the past few weeks, 88% have given the project a solid thumbs up with only 12% against. Assuming both are representative results, it shows a 27.5% growth in what was already strong support for the project among local residents.
Although it’s a great result which augurs well for our planning application we can’t get away from the fact that it’s maybe a reflection of the hard realities that we’re facing in seeking community sustainability, for since the 2010 ballot we’ve suffered further setbacks – Summer Isles Foods, our biggest employer, relocating to Alness, Polbain Stores closing and the school roll declining even further to the point that it is now a one-teacher school.
Inevitably the public consultation drew comments from far and wide, many from people who have little if any direct connection with Coigach, but again on balance the comments were strongly in support of the project proceeding despite there being an organised campaign against the project and not a little misinformation.
We now look forward to the next stage in the process for our planning application and look forward to the day, hopefully, when our turbine starts turning and in doing its bit to turn our community’s fortunes around.