Coigach 2020 – what’s your vision?

 We have put together a vision for Coigach in 2020 – an ideal ‘written picture’ of what our community could look like.  The idea is that we look at the ideal then work backwards, to see how we could achieve this.  Is this vision your vision?
Our traditional industries of  and crofting are a vital part of our employment, our culture and our landscape. Coigach produce is well renowned for its quality and our are celebrated far and wide.  These strengths link into our tourism, and visitors are keen to take up the opportunities to experience our qualities as part of their holiday.  Our community enjoys local produce from local businesses, and our shops and local trades are well supported.

Visitor numbers to Coigach are healthy, given the good range of quality accommodation and our mix of visitor attractions and activities.  Our visitor season never really ceases as a significant improvement in provision of short stay accommodation encourages local businesses to offer seminars, training /teaching and activity events – and businesses flourish on the back of the additional short stay accommodation in all seasons.  Touring visitors can now easily lengthen their stay in Coigach.

 Our well established heritage centre offers locals and tourists alike the opportunity to enjoy, learn from and contribute to the fascinating legacy of our social and cultural history.

 The availability of additional affordable housing  has encouraged families to settle here, and a healthy mixture of social and private enterprise offer our young people satisfying and varied work opportunities.  Improved business infrastructure,  good tele-communications and new crofts have added to their opportunities.

 The 2010 Coigach and Assynt Living Landscapes (CALL) initiative is encouraging the development of habitats to strengthen local biodiversity. This initiative involving crofters, the community and land owners creates land based .

 The local primary school is flourishing and our teenagers are encouraged to take advantage of   opportunities, part funded by proceeds from the community renewable energy project.   Pre-school education and mother and baby  groups are provided in the community hall.  Our older population are well catered for within our community.  Our emergency and is responsive to local needs.”

What’s your view of this vision?  Post a comment!    

Community wind turbine ballot result..

A working group reporting to the Coigach Community Council (Coigach Community Renewable Energy Working Group) has been investigating and researching the possibility of a community renewable energy scheme, with the help of Community Energy Scotland. CES also paid for the recent feasibility work done by Atmos, who presented their results at an open afternoon and an evening presentation to the public in the Community Hall. Prior to that the CCREWG had held many public meetings and over a period of years had looked into wave, tidal and hydro power as well as wind power to see what was best capable in Coigach of generating a good revenue stream for community benefit and sustainability and also thereby  reducing the community’s ‘carbon footprint.’
The Coigach Community Council recently circulated a letter of information to everyone on the electoral register in Coigach prior to ballot papers being sent out from the Highland Council. The ballot papers had to be returned to the Highland Council for counting and the results were as follows.
Ballot Question As a member of the Coigach Community on the Electoral Roll do you support the progression of a 900KW (or less) wind turbine at Achvraie, with the aim of generating funds for community benefit?
Ballot Papers Issued 220
Ballot Papers Returned 184 83.6% of papers issued
Yes 124 68% of votes cast
No 59 32% of votes cast
Papers marked “Abstain” 1
Papers Spoilt 0

The result allows this Community Project to be taken forward to full planning; which will involve rigorous scrutiny by all the planning bodies appropriate to this type of project.