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.