Broadband for the Future aims to provide improved broadband to areas which will not be served by the new BT fibre roll-out in 2016 (95% of the country will benefit from this, Coigach is in the unlucky 5% who won’t). The Scottish Government is committed to providing high speed broadband to the entire country by 2020. Ullapool and Lochinver will get upgraded broadband in 2016 through the BT roll-out, however there are currently no plans to upgrade Coigach and other outlying areas.
Ullapool Community Trust and Coigach Community Development Company are currently working with Community Broadband Scotland (CBS) to identify and install an alternative solution to these areas.
We have secured funding for stage 1 which requires us to identify the need for faster broadband in our areas to source potential project partners and funders. In order to access the current situation with broadband provisions can please ask that you complete and return the attached questionnaire.
And although primarily aimed at residents, it would be very interesting to hear the views of potential residents or visitors to the area. Does broadband service affect your decision come here on holiday, set up business or live in Coigach? Would you come more often if high speed broadband was available? Do you know any young people who will not go anywhere offline?
For more information please see the full page: Broadband for the Future
Click here for the questionnaire
Community Broadband Questionnaire
Completed questionnaires can be emailed/posted/handed in to
Lee Heaney, Ullapool Community Trust email@example.com
Village Hall, Ullapool IV26 2XE
Julia Campbell, CCDC firstname.lastname@example.org
Coigach Community Hall, Achiltibuie IV26 2YG
Computer Weekly’s 2013 article – two year’s old but worth a read – and we like the accompanying cartoon:
Friday 3rd July: Gathering Dance in Coigach Community Hall, Achiltibuie IV26 2YG
9pm – 1am
Get your dancing shoes on to Strip the Willow, Eightsome Reel and Highland Schottische the night away.. to the music of the fabulous HEISGEIR MOR
Entry: Adult £10, Family £25, Concession £7.50 LICENSED BAR
Saturday 4th July: Coigach Gathering 2015
From 12.30pm onwards at Badentarbet, Achiltibuie
A GREAT FAMILY DAY OUT!
Competitions: Piping, Fiddle, Whistle, Stone-stacking, Net-mending, Tug-o-war, Junior Flat Races, Stone-painting, Blokes Baking, Flower Arranging, Victoria Sponge..and more.
STALLS, BBQs, HILL RACE (Adults & Juniors), RAFFLE (with splendid prizes), TEAS & BAKING, LICENSED BAR
Following a meeting (open to all those on Coigach’s electoral roll) on Thursday 14th May in Achiltibuie, and extensive community consultation the directors of CCDC have agreed not to pursue re-registration of Community Interest in the former hydroponicum site. Whatever happens to the land now, we hope it will will bring some benefit to the community in another way – and CCDC has several other projects on the go which are keeping us busy.
Achiltibuie Schoolhouse: we we will soon be taking over ownership from The Highland Council adn will then lease the property to Highland Small Communities Housing Trust (HSCHT) who will refurbish the building and convert it into two rentable flats.
Former Achiltibuie Smokehouse: since Summer Isles Foods packed up and moved to Alness, the empty building is now in community ownership. We have appointed Alison SInclair as the new Development Officer who will take this project further towards refurbishment and a new lease of life.
Community wind turbine and hydro scheme: we now have Locogen (a multi-disciplinary energy company) on the case so we’re making progress on these all-important projects that will in turn help fund all the other things we have to do.
Old Dornie Harbour: needs extensive improvements to make it fit for purpose as it is essential to our local fishing, fish-farming and leisure industries and we need to find funding to do this. Eventually the income from the renewables projects will help.
Broadband: connectivity is as important in Coigach as it is anywhere – perhaps more so given our remote location so we want to make sure our community doesn’t get left behind.
Paths: in partnership with Coigach Assynt Living Landscape we are working on improvements and developments to the local paths network to improve infrastructure for visitors and locals alike.
Acheninver Youth Hostel: this is SYHA’s last year of leasing the building however we hope to help owners Scottish Wildlife Trust find new tenants as we don’t want to lose this iconic facility that has been bringing visitors to Coigach for about 70 years or more.
And we have the office to tidy up….
And perhaps also time for a little reminder that CCDC’s directors are hard-working volunteers who put in many hours of their valuable time for the benefit of the wider community. We’d all like to wish Peter Muir all the best on his retirement and thank him for the many years of work he has contributed – both as employee and the countless extra time he has put in particularly in regards to our renewables projects. And thanks too to Ben Walton, who has been our treasurer for the past four years and has now stepped down as a volunteer director.
Here’s who we are:
Chair – Iain Muir
Vice Chair – Iain Scott
Anne Campbell, Local Development Officer
Linda Macleod currently standing in for Anne Campbell as Local Development Officer who is on sick leave
Alison Sinclair, Smokehouse Development Officer
Julia Campbell, Local Development Officer
And we have over 100 members – that’s over half the community!
Should we pursue Community (Re) Registration of Interest?
The current Community Registration of Interest expires on 20th May 2015. We have the option to continue that registration for another five years or to let it expire.
Everyone on the electoral roll in Coigach is invited to attend a meeting to decide whether or not CCDC should continue the community’s interest in the former hydroponicum site through the Community Right to Buy process. The views of the meeting will inform the decision. If you cannot attend but wish to express a view, please email email@example.com or contact Julia on 622 379, thank you.
We have just bid a fond farewell to our visiting student party from Flensburg who have been carrying out fieldwork in Coigach over the last five weeks. All graduate engineers, the students who hail from four different continents, are currently undertaking post-graduate studies on the Energy and Environmental Master (EEM) Programme at Europa-Universität, Flensburg, Germany. Led by Prof Dr Bernd Möller, Dipl.-Ing Wulf Boie and social scientist Dorsi Germann the fourteen students braved wintry showers, gales and wind to visit households in Coigach to survey their energy needs. They also investigated various possibilities for the most efficient way of using any surplus electricity generated by our renewable energy schemes in the future. They looked at various scenarios in techincal and financial detail which they presented to the community at a well attended and very informative public meeting. One of the most impressive scenarios they presented, was the possibility of using excess energy from the community wind turbine and/or hydro scheme to power a district heating system concentrated on the community hub which includes the community hall, school and the social housing at Island View. Having studied a variety of options for community energy generation they found that some options would deliver a more substantial revenue stream for community benefit than others, though all were shown to be reassuringly profitable.
All this research provided free to the community is of inestimable worth to our projects and we are very grateful for the opportunity to gain from their financial and engineering expertise.
While they were very busy out in the field (and up the hill) measuring data, discussing wind and hydro energy generation, the students quickly got to know people in the community and enjoyed cups of tea wherever they went. At an impromptu ceilidh they proved to be naturals in the ceilidh world – adding Strip the Willow and other traditional dance steps to their portfolio of skills – and even have a blast on the bagpipes. However, able as they were in most areas, they had to accept a minor defeat to our local lads when Achiltibuie took on Flensburg International for a Sunday afternoon football match – and won.
Link to Community Energy Scotland’s post about the public presentation here: CES Report
You can find out more about the Scottish Government’s current consultation here: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/0046/00464887.pdf
And you can submit your own response here: https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/land-reform-and-tenancy-unit/land-reform-scotland/
Deadline 10th February so don’t tarry!
And for some extra reading try this: http://www.andywightman.com/