CCDC Autumn 2020 Newsletter

                           Greetings from CCDC! Read on to find out what’s been happening…

Welcome to the autumn newsletter. We hope this finds you safe and well. The last few months coping with the pandemic have been difficult, a new experience to navigate. CCDC has been working with local groups to try to help and, boosted by some extra Scottish Government funding, we have been able to provide masks, hand sanitiser and financial help when it was needed during the first lockdown period. We have also set up a mental health support page on our website ( in recognition of the fact that some people may be struggling.

Coigach Community Fund The turbines are busy working away, turning wind and water into money for the community. Here’s a breakdown of the public grants that CCDC has been able to award so far. Please have a look at the website or the Community Grants leaflet for more details – leaflets are available in the Post Office. We’re in the process of updating the website to include details of all grants awarded to date.

  • CCDC Supporting Children and Young People Fund:  £2474.50
  • CCDC Education and Training Bursaries Fund: £8270.97
  • CCDC Wellbeing Fund: £3000.20
  • CCDC Welcome Coigach Baby: £1000
  • CCDC Small Grant Fund for Organisations: £36,550.67 – e.g. providing the school with devices for online learning and helping the Community Hall financially while it has such a limited income
  • CCDC Crisis Fund (using Supporting Communities Fund from the Scottish Government via Highlands and Islands Enterprise): £12,900
  • In addition to these established funds we invested in such things as upgrading our wind turbine’s control system for increased efficiency and replaced all the Schoolhouse windows with modern, double-glazed units.

News from Community Land Scotland We are delighted to announce that CCDC has been selected, along with only 5 other community groups across Scotland, to take part in a project – Owning Our Future – to look at how we responded to the Covid-19 crisis. We’ll be working with a facilitator to create a plan for moving forward. This is a community project so we hope to involve lots of people. For more information, including details of the facilitator’s post if you’re interested in applying, have a look at the Community Land Scotland website:

New Community Development Plan With Covid-19 colouring everyone’s plans for the near future, CCDC included, we hope soon to put the finishing touches to our revised Community Development Plan, having had to put it on hold in the spring. We had lots of community input – and, unsurprisingly, the top priority identified then was affordable homes for people. We’re currently working with Alison Sinclair who is undertaking an options’ appraisal exercise.  In other news, the Schoolhouse is shortly to have new tenants. Congratulations to them and best of luck to Suzie in her new venture and to Sarah and Seumas in their new home!

Coigach and Assynt Living Landscape Partnership projects We continue to collaborate with CALLP on projects, including the lovely Acheninver Path network, which runs down the Youth Hostel Burn and up from the cliff above Acheninver beach, and Music and Tales of Coigach and Assynt (see below). We’re also working with Laura Hamlet on improving the path around Fox Point, and on the Sense of Place project, the aim of which is to produce ‘toolkits’ of written and visual information for use by the people of Coigach and Assynt. Future projects include signage and a map for a new Heritage Trail.      


Music and Tales is a wonderful project, just heading into its fifth year. Ronan Martin, a Skye based designer and musician, is working with a team to take the oral history research project completed in 2019 and make it into a beautiful book of songs, tunes, photographs and stories. The Coigach and Assynt Collection will be a book to treasure and we hope to see it in print before too long. Alongside this project, musician, broadcaster and writer Mary Ann Kennedy and her team are composing an album of music, again inspired by Lorraine Kelly’s piece of research. They have managed to spend some time up here recently, and during the lockdown met with members of the Coigach and Assynt communities via Zoom. This promises to be an exciting and unique composition, mixing elements of traditional and contemporary music. Watch this space for plans for next year’s part of the project.

Annual General Meeting This year’s AGM is to take place on Monday 16 November at 7pm by Zoom – we look forward to seeing you! Relevant documents will be sent out in good time. If you’re unfamiliar with Zoom, please don’t hesitate to get in touch in advance for advice and a practise run if you so wish!

We’re always looking for new voices on the CCDC Board – directors’ nomination forms are on the website (completed forms to be with us by 7pm on Monday 9 November), and we also welcome new CCDC members – those forms too are on the website.  


Coigach Community Development Company

Reg. Office: Coigach Community Hall, Achiltibuie IV26 2YG Reg. Charity SC047971

Registered at Companies House SC374107
LDOs Julia Campbell, Donald Macleod and Ann Marie Firth-Bernard

 Tel: 01854 622 379/389   07745 205 433(m)

Support for Coigach Community

Coigach Community Development Company (CCDC) has secured funding from the Scottish Government, via Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), to support the community of Coigach during the COVID-19 crisis, from the Supporting Communities Fund.
We are therefore able to support people in the communities in various ways:
  • volunteer expenses
  • some business expenses eg shop deliveries and safe shopping  (for delivery/packaging/hygiene costs)
  • cloth mask packs
  • purchase of essential supplies and/or equipment
  • delivering meals to vulnerable people
  • supporting families

CCDC’s Crisis Fund is also still available – see previous post for details and application process.

And CCDC’s Community Funds is still open for applications should you wish to sign-up for an online course, or invest in something to improve your well-being. Again, please get in touch to ask!

Please get in touch for further information or if there is anything in particular you would like help with – we’d welcome suggestions!  For instance, would you welcome tech help to get online, or zoom your family?  Or educational/creative resources  for the kids?

Contact:  or phone (01854) 622 379


Production is under way for the Coigach Mask and you can order one for your household now:
Free Covid 19 face covering mask and sanitiser gel pack for Coigach residents. In light of new Scottish Government advice about the wearing of cloth face-coverings in situations where social distancing is not easily possible, Coigach Covid 19 Support Group with funding through CCDC are preparing a free pack for each household, if wanted. The pack will contain hand sanitising gel and a hot-washable, reusable cloth face mask (professionally made locally) with two washable filters and instruction sheet.
Contact Julia Campbell if you would like one delivered to your door –  please order using whichever method suits you:
  • phone (01854) 622 379
  • email
  • send a note by post to Julia Campbell, CCDC, c/o Lower Acheninver, Achiltibuie
Folk who have already notified us don’t need to phone again.

Coigach Crisis Fund Available NOW

This Confidential fund is to help Coigach residents who are in immediate need as a result of the Corvid-19 Pandemic. The emergency fund is to help with basic household expenses and to ensure anyone who has lost their income recently has access to funds swiftly. Payment will be made directly to your bank account.  We will aim to make payments within 24 hours of receipt and approval of an application, though in some situations we may require further information and full board approval.

Many people in Coigach are self-employed, have a variety of jobs and may rely on tourism for their primary source of income. We understand that government assistance may be on the way but in the meantime this fund generated by our community-owned wind turbine is here to tide you over if you do not have savings or a means of support for basic essentials.



The fund may be used for:

  • Basic household expenses – food, toiletries, medicines, cleaning materials (not alcohol or tobacco)
  • Fuel – including electricity, coal etc and petrol/diesel for essential journeys
  • Phone & broadband bills
  • Rent/mortgage payments (for your main home)


Information on assistance from other sources is being updated as the situation changes. Today (7th April) The Highland Council have undated their website and emergency funding package to include self-catering business. For further information on how to apply click here: Highland Council Covid-19 Self-catering Business Grant

Highland Council are also first point of contact for The Scottish Government’s recently announced Covid-19 Small Business Grant

For further information from Highland Council on housing benefit and council tax reduction,  click here: Highland Council Housing Benefit 

You may also contact the  Welfare Support Team  0800 090 1004 or email

If you are self-employed, and eligible for assistance HMRC will contact you.

If you have lost your employment and have savings of less than £16,000 you may also apply for Universal Credit


Please download the CCoigach Crisis Fund Form v2.1  here and email the completed form to    If you have any difficulty, please phone Julia Campbell 01854 622 379 or 07745205433, you can also contact me by messenger. Although many of you know me personally, please be assured your application will be treated with strictest confidence and I will advise you as best I can. If you prefer, you may speak to Ann Marie Firth-Bernard (LDO) or one of CCDC’s directors: Iain Muir, Iain Scott, Ben Walton, Seumas Hitchings, Ann (Ali Beag) Macleod, Sheila Green or Richard Williams.

Details of funding available is on the form.

If you know someone who does not have online access or who will have difficulty with this, please tell them to phone Julia 622 379 or Ann Marie 622 389 and we can make other arrangements.




Happy Christmas

Season’s Greetings to one and all!  Many thanks to Santa who took time out of his busy schedule to drop in to Coigach’s Christmas party, spreading good cheer thanks to CCDC’s Community Funds. We have it on good authority he plans another visit overnight on the 24th so


Christmas marks the end of another busy year and you can read up on the latest by clicking on this:


Open Call for a Book Editor/Compiler

CCDC is managing a project which celebrates the rich culture and heritage of Coigach and Assynt. A really exciting opportunity has arisen to compile and edit a book which celebrates the area, based on a recently completed piece of oral history research. Click on this link for full details of the brief: CCDC – M&T Book Commission Brief

Summer Newsletter

NEWSLETTER Summer 2019

Summer Greetings! Through the Community Fund money is continuing to flow into various parts of Coigach. Since we last reported to you, through our community grants continue to bring good cheer to various members of the community.  Since receiving a CCDC Small Grant(up to £5,000) for Organisations :


Coigach Heritage– has engaged Ann Marie Firth Bernard to develop the archives, and to improve on admin efficiency. With Ann Marie’s help, Coigach Heritage has released a most informative newsletter and the group has stepped up a drive for membership. More activity to follow so keep up with activities through Coigach Heritage on Facebook, email

  • Coigach Community Rowing–  took part in the World Championships in Stranraer in July and have started running  taster days for newcomers and those who fancy a social row. Follow Coigach Rowing Achiltibuie on Facebook or phone Chair Bill Wilder 01854 622 453.And you can keep in trim all year round with Circuit Training, Tuesdays 6pm in the hall, £1 per person, per week, all welcome!


  • Assynt and Coigach Creatives– have produced a very attractive Creative Trail leaflet which includes a map of the area and information all the various creatives in the area. Collect a free leaflet at in Coigach at Achiltibuie Stores, Coigach Community Hall or Fisk Gallery and set off on a jaunt to see work made in Assynt and Coigach (with various tea stops and watering holes on the way).


  • Coigach Community Trust – held a 20thAnniversary bash in April to celebrate 20 glorious years since Coigach Community Hall was built. Party goers enjoyed a great night of dancing to the fabulous Rhythm ‘n’ Reel.


CCDC Supporting Children and Young People Fund  exists to enable Coigach youngsters to access activities or obtain equipment that will support their development.

Our CCDC Education and Training Bursaries Fund for Adults 16+  is designed to enable adults to access training courses (including driving lessons) and further and higher education.

Our CCDC Wellbeing Fund for Adults 16+ exists to support people in Coigach to participate in a range of arts, cultural and natural heritage, leisure and recreations and scientific events, non-certificated/informal life-long learning courses and activities.

If you would like to know more how our grants could benefit you, please get in touch.

Acheninver Path. Work is now underway and contractors are on site. Walkers are still welcome to walk down the path to inspect but please be aware there may be necessary diversions while construction is going on.





Collected Music and Tales of Coigach and Assynt: As part of the Coigach and Assynt Living Landscape Partnership (CALLP) Lorraine Kelly is now in post and is conducting interviews, collecting stories and songs ofCoigach and Assynt. The oral history Lorraine collects will form party of  wider project aims to create a new piece of music, stage a concert, and publish a song book, by collecting and exploring the existing archive material and providing a context from which the new music will be created.

More Information.If you would like to know more or volunteer don’t hesitate to contact us.