Happy New Year!

And thanks to these hairy locals - owned by CCDC director Ben Walton.
And thanks to these hairy locals – owned by CCDC director Ben Walton.

 

Another busy year for CCDC beckons! With fresh new diaries on their desks, the staff and directors are looking at their To Do lists and bashing on with implementing the community development plan and working towards Coigach’s future sustainability.

Tanera: We will shortly select a consultant to carry out a quick appraisal of options to look at the pros and cons of possible purchase of the island for the community. This will enable us to make an informed decision regarding purchase  and it will be helpful to all to look at the possibilities from a different viewpoint.

The Smokehouse: Having cleared many of the hurdles of the community right to buy process, we are nearing a crucial point in the proceedings. If funding is firmly secured, we should be in a position to purchase soon – but there’s still a bit of work to do so watch this space and see what the Spring brings!

Housing & Workshop Units – still on the agenda, still working towards achieving these essentials on the community wish list!

Badentarbet Pier & Old Dornie Harbour: the feasibility study is still ongoing. Wallace Stone have carried out extensive surveying and consultation work and now Steve Westbrook is looking at the economics. Hopefully we’ll soon have a draft report of their findings which will give us further information to look at the scope for community ownership and/or developments and improvements.

Renewable Energy: work continues through our subsiduary companies Coigach Wind Power Ltd (community wind turbine) and Ben Mor Hydro (joint hydro power venture with Scottish Wildlife Trust) to drive these projects forward and closer to our goal of a sustainable income – to help with all the projects above and more.

CCDC and Citizens Online will shortly be embarking on informal training sessions for local people who would like to use the internet and who might be missing out if they don’t know how. Sessions will be kicking off soon so if you know someone that could benefit from accessing services, shopping, travel (and fun!) online please contact coigachldo@hotmail.co.uk . Training will be free, friendly and local – in the hall with a cup of tea.

And we (LDOs)  are particularly pleased to report that funding and contracts for the Local Development Officer (LDO)  post has been extended to include 2013 so that’s a good start!   Peter Muir and Julia Campbell will continue to share the post and are can be contacted by email coigachldo@hotmail.co.uk by phone: Peter 01854 622 444, Julia 01854 622 379, visited in the hall most Wednesday mornings from 10am – or stopped in the road, post office or shops if you have any queries, comments, suggestions or ideas.

 

 

 

School Reports

Previous school roll at Achiltibuie
Past Times!

An A+ for Anna Macleod from Altandubh who received outstanding results in her highers by achieving six (yes SIX!) A passes in Biology, Chemistry, French, Spanish, Maths and English.  Anna’s Head Teacher, Peter Harrison of Ullapool High School believes this is the highest pass rate achieved in the Highlands this year . It’s  a remarkable result and a reflection of Anna’ s natural ability, the dedication and hard work she puts in to her studies, excellent teaching and support from family and those around her.

We are lucky in Coigach: we have a lovely group of confident, competent young people who mix happily with the community and contribute in a huge way to our life here. It is often commented on by visitors! Just the other day we held a traditional music session in the hall, with young musicians to the fore,  jamming  with a cross section of professional and enthusiastic older players. And on a musical note, farewell and good luck to our CCDC Junior Rep and young musician Joseph Peach, who,  with a pile of highers under his belt,  is off to Plockton’s Traditional Music School with like-minded youngsters. Well done to all our teenagers: Anna, Joseph, Abi, Alice and Nina for doing well in their highers and  for just being great all round. A bright future beckons you all!

Proof perhaps that Achiltibuie is a great place for children, it’s all the more important that we give every encouragement to families to live here. Sadly though, there is no Primary One this year, two in pre school and three babies with the result that the school roll will continue to decrease for the forseeable future.  If we get our community wind turbine up and running,  building family houses with the income will be a priority. And perhaps, we can follow other communities who offer scholarships and assistance to young people who inevitably head off for the exiting (but costly) experience of further education further afield.   Catch up on progress on the website   Coigach Wind Power Ltd.

School Roll Coigach
This Year

Hydroponicum Latest

The Achiltibuie Hydroponicum - an opportunity denied to us.

We’d hoped to be celebrating today as 20th November was the official deadline and date for completion of the sale and transfer of the old hydroponicum to Coigach community ownership. Sadly, the current owners, Moultan Ltd, a company registered in the Isle of Man,  exercised their right to withdraw the property from sale  so the champagne will have to wait. It’s not all doom and gloom though: our interest will remain on the Land Register so there may still be an opportunity to buy in the future, and it has been a useful experience for us.

Working through the Community Right to Buy process proved that we can work together effectively and with a 93% vote for the proposal to buy in the first place, showed that we have broad community support.

So, we’re disappointed but not defeated – and there are plenty of other things to keep us busy: feasibility studies are now underway for the wind turbine and micro-hydro scheme and we hope to have another underway to look at Badentarbet Pier and Old Dornie Harbour early in 2012

Brave New Future for Old Hydroponicum?

Business /workshop units AT LAST for Coigach? … and affordable housing possibilities? … and MORE?

The Coigach community now has the chance to buy the old Achiltibuie Hydroponicum building together with the surrounding three acres of land (from road to shore) to use for community benefit.

This is as a result of the CCDC registering an interest in the site under the Land Reform Act on behalf of the community.

To proceed with the purchase, the CCDC must produce a feasibility study and business plan and undertake a community ballot soon (watch this space!), but before embarking on these steps we want to show residents of Coigach what currently happens in the building and hear views and ideas about what you’d like to see happening there in the future.

Please come along to the Hydroponicum on  Tuesday 28th June at either 4pm or 7pm to inspire or be inspired.

Click on ‘Old Hydroponicum’ tab above for latest news and background.