The Future of Tanera

Coigach Lass, Tanera
Tanera in the background as local rowers launch the Coigach community racing skiff

Last September we  were approached by the Wilders/ Williams family who own the island of Tanera Mor. The family announced their intention to sell the island but first wanted to offer CCDC the opportunity to buy the island on behalf of the Coigach community. This was exciting news and following a public meeting, called by Richard Williams on 1st October to discuss the matter, it was agreed to investigate the options further. Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) agreed to fund an options appraisal and financial review to help the community arrive at a decision – either to work towards a community buyout, or if declining, to allow the family to put the island on the open market in spring 2013. Whilst wholeheartedly welcoming the offer of community purchase, CCDC chair Iain Muir sounded a note of caution when he stated that CCDC’s ability to take on the project would be a stumbling block: CCDC is run by a board of voluntary directors with two part-time development officers who are already working at full stretch on a number of important projects for community benefit.

Consultants were invited to tender for the options appraisal and financial review in December and Munro Gauld, who has considerable experience in community land management, was appointed to start work on the options appraisal, and accountants Scott-Moncrieff were appointed to undertake the financial review. Following a very thorough investigation, and broad community consultation via a questionnaire that went to every resident household in Coigach, Munro presented the findings of both studies to another Public Meeting called by CCDC on Thursday 7th February in Coigach Community Hall. It was clear from the appraisal and return from the questionnaires that while there was a very positive response to the Wilders’ generosity in their offer to the community, it was regrettably too large a project for the community to take on at present.

It was a good humoured and cheerful meeting with many thoughtful, imaginative and positive comments from those present who confirmed the findings of the appraisal: that while community purchase may not be an option, working with the Wilders and Williams to promote the sale could be extremely beneficial to all concerned. What the appraisal also revealed, was that buying Tanera presented a fantastic opportunity for someone – or a group – with resources, energy and enthusiasm who can work with the community to realise its full potential as an integral part of Coigach.

The largest, and only inhabited of the Summer Isles, Tanera attracts yachts, cruisers and watersports enthusiasts as well as visitors to its residential activity holidays, café, and world famous Summer Isles Post Office which publishes its own stamps. The new owners, whoever they turn out to be, have the opportunity of not only owning a fantastic island surrounded by spectacular scenery, but of being part of a strong, vibrant Highland community.

The meeting concluded with a proposal from the Chair that: ‘We support the conclusion of the questionnaire that we do not pursue the generous offer made for community purchase of Tanera Mor. In coming to this conclusion we recognise that the future of the island plays an important part in the future of the wider Coigach community. As such we undertake to assist the owners in finding a purchaser who will serve the interests of both them and the rest of the community’.  The proposal was supported by a show of hands in favour.

CCDC will continue to work enthusiastically on its many other projects in hand which include proposals to erect a community wind turbine to generate  much needed income which will be used for social housing , workshop units to encourage business activity and to support other local organisations, facilities and initiatives. Other projects include a micro hydro scheme in partnership with local landowner Scottish Wildlife Trust, a feasibility study with a view to community purchase of the local piers, and the Achiltibuie Smokehouse which the Company is also hoping to purchase through the Community Right to Buy process.

Coigach Community Development Company are keen to acknowledge the generosity and co-operation of Bill and Jean Wilder, their sons  Jack and Harry, and their daughter and son in law Lizzie and Richard Williams in offering the community the opportunity to buy Tanera, and the information and help they have supplied so far. While we are declining with regret, we look forward to working together towards a positive outcome for all. We would also like to thank HIE for their help in funding the studies undertaken to help in the process, and all those community members who took part in the consultations and meetings.

The Wilder family greatly  appreciate the effort made by the community of Coigach to consider the  opportunity of taking on Tanera. We fully understand their reasons for deciding  not to, and we hope that whoever owns the Island in the future will enjoy the  same warm and cooperative relationship with the community that we have for the  past 17 years.

Lizzie & Richard Williams 12/2/13

Coigach Community Development Company

www.ccdcompany.wordpress.com

Chair: Iain Muir 01854 622 302   i.muir@squidink.demon.co.uk

Local Development Officers:  Julia Campbell 01854 622 379   Peter Muir 01854 622 444 coigachldo@hotmail.co.uk

Isle of Tanera Mor

www.summer-isles.com

Lizzie and Richard Williams lizzie@summer-isles.com

AGM Monday 27 August

This year’s Annual General Meeting of the Coigach Community Development Company will take place in

Coigach Community Hall  MONDAY 27TH AUGUST 2012 at 7.30pm.

AGENDA

  1. Welcome
  2. Chairman’s Report
  3. Treasurer’s Report
  4. Fixing of Annual Subscriptions
  5. Election of Directors
  6. AOCB
  7. Q & As

This will be a chance for members to find out what’s been happening and about our continuing plans for sustainability. Full members will have the chance to vote on new directors and other relevant issues so remember to renew your membership or apply for membership if you have not already done so!

For further information email coigachldo@hotmail.co.uk . We also have a Facebook page too: Coigach Community Development Company

AGM: A date for your diary.

The Summer Isles, Coigach

This year’s Annual General Meeting of the Coigach Community Development Company will take place in

Coigach Community Hall on MONDAY 27TH AUGUST 2012 at 7.30pm.

          AGENDA

  1. Welcome
  2. Chairman’s Report
  3. Treasurer’s Report
  4. Fixing of Annual Subscriptions
  5. Election of Directors
  6. AOCB
  7. Q & As

This will be a chance for members to find out what’s been happening and about our continuing plans for sustainability. Full members will have the chance to vote on new directors and other relevant issues so remember to renew your membership if you have not already done so!

For further information email coigachldo@hotmail.co.uk . We also have a Facebook page too: Coigach Community Development Company (and one day we’ll work out how to link to it at the click of a button!)

Switch on to SSE scheme and generate some business.

If you run a local business, facility or service  you can register with Scottish and Southern Energy’s OPEN 4 BUSINESS scheme. It means that once you are on the SSE list as a local contractor, supplier, accommodation provider, cafe etc, there may be opportunites to generate some business when they are working in the local area.

For full details of the scheme go to www.sseopen4business-highland.com and click on the REGISTER tab.

According to the website, SSE are keen to contribute to the economic well-being and sustainable development of the communities it operates within. SSE is therefore committed to achieving the highest levels of engagement with local suppliers.

Quite simply, SSE wants to become the best in the Highlands and Islands at engaging with the local and SME communities and be the most ‘Open for Business’ company in the region.

Hope this sparks some interest! Once registered you can search for opportunties and work out how to make the best of them.

Scots Wha Hae wi Wallace Stone

Our appointed engineering consultants  Wallace Stone working on Badentarbet Pier. With suitable tides and good weather they spent the morning diving off the pier inspecting below the water, and the afternoon  making notes, taking measurements while drying off in the beautiful spring sunshine.

This project (Coigach Piers Feasibility Study) is being part-financed by Coigach Community Council, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Summer Isles Enterprises, Coigach Community Development Company and The European Community Highland Leader 2007 – 2012 Programme.

Another step in the Right to Buy direction!

Scottish Government Ministers have given their consent for CCDC to proceed with our Right To Buy the old Hydroponicum site for the benefit of the community. 

The Ministers considered our application carefully and made their decision in view of

  • the strength of the community ballot (97% in favour)
  • that the CCDC meets the requirements of the Land Reform Act  (Scotland) Community Right to Buy
  • that the proposals for this site are appropriate 

This is encouraging news and means we are now a little closer to our goal of acquiring land for workshop units and housing and the benefits they will bring to the people of Coigach.

We have already received some very generous donations towards the proposed purchase but we still need to raise funds.

Further donations will of course be very welcome and we are planning some fun events that will give everyone the opportunity to contribute their time, money… and soup!

If you would like to make a donation to the CCDC towards the purchase of the Hydroponicum and/or would like to know more about it and other community projects then please contact us – or drop by the hall on a Wednesday morning.    Julia Campbell and Peter Muir    Local Development Officers coigachldo@hotmail.co.uk

Tuesday 29th August 2011

By Julia Campbell

Well attended AGM – click to read notes and Chair’s report!

Click on ‘Chairman’s Report AGM 2011’ tab above to read Chair Iain Muir’s round-up of a busy year’s activities: the work of  Local Development Officers Linda and Peter and the Directors, Nick Clooney, Steve Husband, Ann Macleod (Ali Beag), Anne Macleod, Ian Macleod, Iain Muir, Phil Shaughnessy, Rich Williams, Julia Campbell and Ben Walton and other members of the community giving of time and skills.  The ‘Notes from 2011 AGMtab will give you the detail of all the topics discussed at the AGM.