Work will be starting soon on Achiltibuie Schoolhouse so we held a clear-out day to cut back some of the undergrowth that was beginning to take over the garden. Local volunteers armed with a various bits of gardening paraphernalia gathered on Saturday 19th March and were soon chopping and lopping to tackle the jungle. A couple of hours later and there was something of a transformation – it may not be a contender for garden of of the year yet, but there is space now, allowing access for the construction team who will be working on the building (soon we hope). Many thanks to all our volunteers for their time and effored – and missing from the picture Bill and Iain who removed several trailer-loads of branches and greenery – and especially to Lesley and Rose at the Piping School Cafe who generously sponsored the day by providing lunch for the garden army.
Following a meeting (open to all those on Coigach’s electoral roll) on Thursday 14th May in Achiltibuie, and extensive community consultation the directors of CCDC have agreed not to pursue re-registration of Community Interest in the former hydroponicum site. Whatever happens to the land now, we hope it will will bring some benefit to the community in another way – and CCDC has several other projects on the go which are keeping us busy.
Achiltibuie Schoolhouse: we we will soon be taking over ownership from The Highland Council adn will then lease the property to Highland Small Communities Housing Trust (HSCHT) who will refurbish the building and convert it into two rentable flats.
Former Achiltibuie Smokehouse: since Summer Isles Foods packed up and moved to Alness, the empty building is now in community ownership. We have appointed Alison SInclair as the new Development Officer who will take this project further towards refurbishment and a new lease of life.
Community wind turbine and hydro scheme: we now have Locogen (a multi-disciplinary energy company) on the case so we’re making progress on these all-important projects that will in turn help fund all the other things we have to do.
Old Dornie Harbour: needs extensive improvements to make it fit for purpose as it is essential to our local fishing, fish-farming and leisure industries and we need to find funding to do this. Eventually the income from the renewables projects will help.
Broadband: connectivity is as important in Coigach as it is anywhere – perhaps more so given our remote location so we want to make sure our community doesn’t get left behind.
Paths: in partnership with Coigach Assynt Living Landscape we are working on improvements and developments to the local paths network to improve infrastructure for visitors and locals alike.
Acheninver Youth Hostel: this is SYHA’s last year of leasing the building however we hope to help owners Scottish Wildlife Trust find new tenants as we don’t want to lose this iconic facility that has been bringing visitors to Coigach for about 70 years or more.
And we have the office to tidy up….
And perhaps also time for a little reminder that CCDC’s directors are hard-working volunteers who put in many hours of their valuable time for the benefit of the wider community. We’d all like to wish Peter Muir all the best on his retirement and thank him for the many years of work he has contributed – both as employee and the countless extra time he has put in particularly in regards to our renewables projects. And thanks too to Ben Walton, who has been our treasurer for the past four years and has now stepped down as a volunteer director.
Here’s who we are:
Chair – Iain Muir
Vice Chair – Iain Scott
Anne Campbell, Local Development Officer
Linda Macleod currently standing in for Anne Campbell as Local Development Officer who is on sick leave
Alison Sinclair, Smokehouse Development Officer
Julia Campbell, Local Development Officer
And we have over 100 members – that’s over half the community!