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: firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW office: the Smokehouse, Altandhu, Achiltibuie IV26 2YR
Our registered office remains Coigach Community Hall, Achiltibuie IV26 2YG
is in the pipeline but in the meantime, here’s the latest from CCDC
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
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 email@example.com
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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: email@example.com
Local Development Officers:
Anne Campbell firstname.lastname@example.org
Julia Campbell email@example.com
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.
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 .
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.
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