What’s the future for Achiltibuie Schoolhouse?

2012-05-16 18.48.58

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).

coigachldo@hotmail.co.uk

….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.

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