Interested in running Acheninver Youth Hostel?

Hostel front view

Acheninver (or Achininver) Youth Hostel has been an iconic part of the local landscape for a long time. A former croft house, it became a youth hostel in the 1930’s when hiking and hosteling was the new big thing. Since then people of all ages (some more youthful than others) have stayed here: walked The Rock (the Postman’s Path from Ullapool); climbed the local hills, enjoyed the scenery and made friends. Many have returned and remember the hostel fondly as their introduction to the area – and some have never left!

Happy Hostellers in 1946
Happy Hostellers in 1946

Summer 2015 looks like it will be the hostel’s last in its current form as the Scottish Youth Hostel Association (SYHA) are giving up their lease on the building; it is currently owned by Scottish Wildlife Trust as part of the Ben Mor Estate. At present, the future looks uncertain but we feel there is an opportunity to create a new future for the hostel. The accommodation is basic but the location is stunning and there is currently a shortage of short-stay, budget accommodation in the area.

Nothing is set in stone, and we are discussing various options but would welcome comment or notes of interest from anyone who might be interested in taking over the lease and running the hostel as their own business. It would suit someone one with energy and enthusiasm, and an interest in outdoor activities who would like to develop a business but perhaps does not have the capital to buy a property and start from scratch. It’s not going to make anyone a millionaire but there is the opportunity to increase business through extending the season (the hostel is only open in the summer months) and encouraging group activity bookings, or reducing the dormitory accommodation and offering a slightly more luxurious stay in private rooms. It may also be possible to benefit from SYHA’s advice and ongoing support as an affiliate. All is subject to negotiation and agreement with SYHA, SWT and CCDC.

Accommodation:

Common room with kitchen area, upstairs Dormitory (8 beds), downstairs dormitory (8 beds?), family room (4 beds), warden’s accommodation, showers/toilets, sheds.

Access is by foot along the burn from the car park at Achavraie – there is a rough path but only passable by appropriate vehicle (quad, 4×4). The path continues down the Acheninver burn to the sea where there is a sandy beach.

If you would like to know more and are considering an exciting challenge in one of the most beautiful parts of the world (we have stunning scenery AND a friendly community!) please get in touch. You might even like to come and stay this summer and see for yourself.  Or if you stayed in the past and have happy memories, or would like to make some suggestions for improvement please let us know.

Coigach is part of a National Scenic Area and the North West Highlands Geopark. The hostel overlooks Loch Broom and the Summer Isles and is a 25 mile drive from Ullapool (where the ferry departs for Stornoway and the Western Isles). There is a very rough path from Ullapool round the base of Ben Mor Coigach –  suitable only for experienced and very hardy walkers. Or you could come by small boat or canoe as there is a sandy beach nearby.

Contact: Julia Campbell, Local Development Officer, CCDC

email:      info@coigachcommunity.org.uk

phone:     01854 622 379 (home)

write:      Coigach Community Hall, Achiltibuie, Ullapool IV26 2YL

tweet:    @coigachcdc

facebook:   Coigach Community Development Company

visit: fly/train to Inverness, bus to Ullapool, bus to Achiltibuie – or drive approximately 25 miles north of Ullapool.

From the Album….

Hostel Acheninver Burn

Tanera on sale!

Tanera Mor in Summer Isles on sale for £2.5m

Just this weekend Tanera hosted a wedding party. The knot was tied on the island and the newly-weds started  life together amid spectacular scenery and happy friends. Guests stayed in the holiday cottages and joined the bride and groom to celebrate, enjoying a feast of local produce in the boatshed café – followed by some traditional ceilidh dancing to Kevin Macleod and his band, and then an island boogy with some more current sounds from their own DJ.
Now the island is on the market – here’s your chance to start a new life!
Tanera Mòr

For further information please click on the links below:

BBC Highland News

Isle of Tanera Mor

CKD Galbraith are the agents managing the sale; you can contact the Inverness office on 01463 224343 or inverness@ckdgalbraith.co.uk.

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

The Future of Tanera: Public Meeting

tanera post office

Coigach Community Development Company invite you to a

Public Meeting on Thursday 7th February at 7.30pm in Coigach Community Hall,  Achiltibuie.

Following community consultation and an options appraisal, our consultant Munro Gauld will present his findings.  At a public meeting in early October, it was agreed  to carry out an indpendent appraisal so we could look at whether a community purchase is viable and to consider the options from a different perspective.

For further information please contact Julia Campbell 01854 622 379 coigachldo@live.co.uk

Options Appraisal funded by HIE

Tanera Mor: Community Ownership?

Summer Isles Enterprises, who own the island of Tanera Mor, the largest and only inhabited  of the famous Summer Isles have announced their intention to offer us the opportunity of a community buy-out.  There will be a Public Meeting on Monday 1 October  at 7pm in Coigach Community Hall, Achiltibuie so come along and share your thoughts.  Much to discuss over the coming weeks  and we all wish the Wilders and Williams well with their future plans: since coming to Tanera they have contributed generously in time and spirit and continue to be very valued members of our community. Whatever you decide to do next, we’re sure you’ll do it well!

“After almost 16 years as a happy home and a productive enterprise for the Wilder family, the time has come for a change for Tanera Mòr. As had always been their intention, Bill and Jean passed the title of Tanera on to their three offspring – Jack, Harry and Lizzie – in 2010. Now that all three siblings have their own young families we have all been carefully considering the future, and have taken the decision to approach the community to discuss the possibility of a community buyout.

As this is a real opportunity for the local community to purchase Tanera, the family is keen to assist as much as possible in the process. To that end discussions have just been initiated with Coigach Community Development Company, and we have arranged a public meeting for Monday 1st October at 7pm in the Community Hall.

Everyone in the family is extremely attached to Tanera and we have had a fantastic few years running the island and living in Coigach, and hope very much to remain in this part of the world. This has not been an easy decision but we feel it is the right one for all the young Wilder and Williams families, and for Tanera.

We are continuing to plan for 2013 as a ‘normal’ season, with the usual array of residential courses, holiday lets and other goings on, and hope that it will all pass without too much disruption to our valued clientele. Thereafter we wait to see what the future holds.”

Coigach Piers: Have your say.

Coigach Community Development Company

Coigach Community Development Company
invite you to a Public Event:
Badentarbet Pier and Old Dornie Harbour
How do you see the future?

Come and meet the engineers: Wallace Stone LLC
who are conducting the  feasibility study for CCDC.
Come along, have a cup of tea and share your views
Tuesday 25th September 7pm – 8.30pm
Wednesday 26th September 10am – 1pm.
coigachldo@hotmail.co.uk
hebrides@wallacestone.co.uk
tel Julia Campbell 01854 622 379

 

Note 8 October 2012 – This turned out to  be a very useful event and we’ll be posting a short report and some of the pictures soon.

Head Teacher wanted for Achiltibuie Primary School!

Organisation:  Highland Council

  • Location: Ross & Cromarty
  • Salary/Hourly Rate: £43593 – £43593 (and relocation package)
  • Hours: 35
  • Full/Part Time: Full Time
  • Published: 17 August 2012
  • Closing Date: 7 September 2012
  • Ref. No.: HGH002250
  • To apply contact  staffing.recruitmentteaching@highland.gov.uk  or phone Highland Council Education Dept 01349 868660 for details

Post Details

£43,593 per annum plus Remote Allowance £1,248 per annum

The school looks out on to Loch Broom and the Summer Isles and serves the scattered crofting townships of the Coigach peninsula. The school building consists of 2 classrooms, a kitchen, a dining room and a general purpose room. The school roll is currently 21 pupils with 9 pupils in the P1-3 class and 12 pupils in the P4-7 class. The local community is very supportive of the school and relationships between pupils, teachers, parents and the community at large are very positive.

Job Description and Person Specification are available with application pack. Application forms from the: Education, Culture & Sport Service, Staffing Unit Dingwall Centre Jubilee Park Road Dingwall IV15 9QZ Tel No. 01349 868660 (24 hour telephone answering service) If you wish to send your completed Application Form by email, please forward to:-staffing.recruitmentteaching@highland.gov.uk Applications from Gaelic Speakers are encouraged. Prior to confirming appointment, we will undertake an enhanced criminal records check through Disclosure Scotland. The council has a comprehensive relocation package which maybe available to the successful candidate.

(Above information from Highland Council )

Head Teacher
10 mins from the classroom..

A fantastic opportunity awaits at our great wee school for someone with enthusiasm and an adventurous spirit. What teacher wouldn’t like life in a beautiful environment with a bunch of  bright, happy, confident kids who are keen to learn?  Great HMI reports, great track record  (one ex pupil got top marks in the Highlands with 6 A’s in her Highers earlier this month) and there’s lots of music, interest in history and the world around.  And with fab home-cooked school dinners, supportive parents, loads of community spirit, there is much fun to be had here. Bring your kayak, your wellies and your imagination.

Check out Achiltibuie Appreciation Society on facebook, come visit and see for yourself www.coigach.com (Achiltibuie Tourist Association)  or email coigachldo@hotmail.co.uk if you want any info about Achiltibuie (we can also put you in touch with other local folk with useful information) .  And of course www.highland.gov.uk/…/achiltibuieprimaryschool.htm