Feis Eige

Feis Eige takes place on the 9th, 10 & 11th of July. If you have any visitors with children staying or in you accommodation perhaps you would be so kind to pass on the details to them. If visitors are interested in attending the Feis, they will be able to find application forms in the t-room or they can ring Tasha for more information or queries on 482402.

Feis Eige Poster 2014


Meat in cold storage

A project officer has been appointed to take forward plans for a Skye and Lochalsh abattoir.

Rachael Jackson, who farms at Orbost, has been contracted for eight months by Skye and Lochalsh Meat Supply Group (SLMSG) to bring the project to a ‘shovel ready’ stage including developing a funding package.

Ms Jackson’s remit will also include obtaining estimates, identifying a site from the options in the report, and starting discussions on planning issues, waste management and meat inspection, as well as establishing contact with operators of other remote and island abattoirs and determining the optimum business structure. Ms Jackson will be assisted in technical design by Peadar Ó Donnghaile of MacTec (Scotland) Ltd.

The abattoir project officer position is being funded by Edinbane Community Company, Struan Community Trust,Highlands & Islands Enterprise and the Highland Council. MacTec (Scotland) Ltd will contribute work in kind.

An SAC Consulting report published last year concluded that a micro-abattoir for Skye and Lochalsh could be viable. The report, commissioned by the Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) and funded by the Scottish Government, can be found on the SCF website.

Community Food Fund

The Community Food Fund is financed by The Scottish Government and has been created to promote local food and drink.

In relation to Scotland’s National Food and Drink Policy, the Community Food Fund will focus on two main outcomes:

  • Supporting development of food trails and networks
  • Establish local food and drink event, including farmers’ markets, that celebrate and promote food and drink throughout the year

All projects must show a benefit to local food and drink producers.

When is the Next Submission Date?

The next submission date will be 5pm on Thursday 20th March. Any applications received after this date will automatically go into the following submission round.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

The scheme is open to food and drink producer groups, networks and community organisations. It is not open to individual businesses.

The project needs to fit into at least one of these three categories:

1. Create or enhance a current food and drink network / group / community

2. Create or enhance a food trail

3. Create or enhance local food and drink event(s)

How Much Funding can I Apply for?

Applicants can apply for up to £25,000 per submission round.

Eligible costs will be judged on a case by case basis and at the discretion of the panel.

Please note that although the Panel acknowledge individual time will go into projects, the Community Food Fund cannot be used to fund staff costs.

How do I Apply?

Download an application form or email food@sac.co.uk for an application to be sent out be post.

For further information please see the guidance notes.

The Panel request that all applications are discussed with a member of the Think Local team before submission.

Get in Touch

Call 01224 711088 or email food@sac.co.uk.


Posted by Cathy Higginson

This free Ullapool Community Trust / Highlands and Islands Enterprise seminar for community organisations across Skye, Lochaber and Wester Ross brings together speakers with a rich mix of expertise in creating and funding affordable community-owned rural housing.  Speakers include Allan Maguire, Head of Property Partnerships at the Highland Council and Ronnie Macrae of The Highland Small Communities Housing Trust along with representatives from Helmsdale & District Development Trust, The Knoydart Foundation, North Harris Trust, Forest Crofts and Ekopia.
There will be an informal networking lunch and marketplace, along with afternoon workshops on assessing your project’s feasibility and funding your project.
Visit http://ullapoolcommunity.org/?page_id=714 for full programme information and details of how to book.


Event Organiser:  Ullapool Community Trust & Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Venue:  Macphail Centre, Ullapool

Event Cost:  Free to representatives of community organisations

Who should attend this event?:  Representatives of community organisations, particularly in Skye, Lochaber & Wester Ross

Event Dates:  27/03/2014

Time/Duration:  10am – 4pm


Contact Firstname:  Cathy

Contact Surname:  Higginson

Telephone Number:  01854 335062

Email:  ullapoolcommunity@btopenworld.com

Website:  http://ullapoolcommunity.org/?page_id=714

Funding for defibrilators

Funding for life saving equipment


£100,000 investment for defibrillators

Local communities across Scotland are to benefit from a £100,000 investment to increase the number of public access defibrillators across Scotland.

The Scottish Government funding will allow the Scottish Ambulance Service to purchase and deploy defibrillators across the country, providing local communities with life saving equipment and training.

The £100,000 scheme will help to fund equipment that has up until now been almost entirely funded through community, charitable or business resources. It costs approximately £3,000 to purchase, fit and install one defibrillator.

Health Secretary Alex Neil was today visiting Aberdeen Health Village where he met ambulance staff and trained first responders who demonstrated the difference a defibrillator can make.

Mr Neil said: “Early CPR and defibrillation, quickly followed up by advanced life-support from an ambulance team, can greatly improve chances of survival from a cardiac arrest. By putting this life saving equipment in the hands of local communities, and giving them the appropriate training, we can help people on the ground administer life saving care in the minutes before the ambulance service arrives.

“I’m delighted to be able to announce the funding for these defibrillators and by working with the Scottish Ambulance Service, we hope that people and communities across Scotland will reap the benefits.”

The Scottish Ambulance Service provides advice and guidance to any council, community, organisation or business interested in developing a publicly accessible defibrillator. This community resilience initiative is part of a wider emergency life support programme run by the Scottish Ambulance Service in conjunction with third sector and private partners, including British Heart Foundation Scotland.

This new fund complements the Emergency Life Support project funded by the Scottish Government to allow British Heart Foundation Scotland to bring 40 more schools into their Heartstart scheme, eventually training up to 8,000 school students in giving CPR – a vital link in the chain of survival while a defibrillator is activated.

Bernard Gallacher, who set up the Bernard Gallacher Defibrillator Campaign after suffering a cardiac arrest last year, said: “This is fantastic news. Personally I’d like defibrillators to be as ubiquitous as fire extinguishers because they are lifesavers, pure and simple. When I had my cardiac arrest last August, I was so grateful that the Marquess Hotel had a defibrillator on the site, and that there were people there to help.

“Had there not been one available the consequences would have been tragic for my family, and I am truly delighted that the Scottish Government has provided funding for these vital pieces of equipment that will save hundreds of lives. These fully automated machines are simple to use and can be operated by members of the public and it is important that people are confident to use them. Everyone deserves the same chance I had last August.”

Pauline Howie, Chief Executive, Scottish Ambulance Service, said: “The additional public access defibrillators will make a positive contribution to safer and sustainable communities around the country. While we have world class ambulance response times in Scotland, we know that in cardiac cases every second counts and that equipping communities with basic life saving skills and equipment will further improve survival rates.”

Marjory Burns, Director of British Heart Foundation Scotland, said: “When someone has a cardiac arrest their chances of survival decrease with every passing minute.

“That’s why it’s vital that people know what to do in the event of a cardiac arrest. This includes calling 999 immediately, performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation and have access to a defibrillator as soon as possible. The more people who are trained in what to do in the event of a cardiac arrest the more lives we can save in the future.”

In February 2012, Clydebank-based Ambulance Technician Brian Martin was playing five-aside football with colleagues, when he collapsed in cardiac arrest.

Working as a team, Brian’s colleagues started cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), while they retrieved a shock box located in the leisure complex. This was used to deliver one shock, which returned Brian’s heart to normal rhythm. The shock box had been donated to the complex through the British Heart Foundation’s “Saving Lives in Glasgow” appeal.

A Paramedic ambulance was then quickly on scene to provide care and to take Brian to the Golden Jubilee National Hospital, where he underwent successful surgery. Brian made a full recovery and returned to his role within the Scottish Ambulance Service.

He said: “It’s because there was a defibrillator available which my colleagues used that I am here to tell the tale. If I hadn’t survived I would have missed my daughters first day at school”.”

Investing in Creativity: how art is the new way to enhance the Small Isles ’ economy.

This month will see the completion of Sweeney’s Bothy on Eigg,. It is the latest building in the Scotland-wide Bothy Project (TBP) initiated in 2009 by artists Bobby Niven and Will Foster.

Sweeney’s Bothy is the third in the planned network of small-scale, off-grid art residency spaces in distinct and diverse locations around Scotland.

Bobby Niven, who is running the Eigg project explained how TBP’s objective is to create platforms for artists to journey and explore the peculiarities of Scotland’s history, mythology, landscape and people. The first two bothies were Inshriach Bothy in the Cairngorm National Park built in 2012, and the Walled Garden Bothy in Glasgow.

Sweeney’s Bothy was funded by Creative Scotland as part of the Year of Natural Scotland 2013 and was planned in cooperation with architect Iain MacLeod and artist Alec Finlay.

It was inspired by the mythical flight of Suibhne, or Sweeney, an Irish king whose unruly temper and violent actions caused him to be cursed by St Ronan to live as a bird on a nest of thorns,  for a life of peregrinations which took him from Ireland to Scotland’s West Coast, including the isle of Eigg. Hence the design incorporated elements of the story such as the bed as Sweeney’s nest of thorns, actually a comfortable platform supported by beams with sticking out bits! “The resident artist will have to come down from his nest to enjoy the vista of the Rum Cuillins opening into the bothy through the window wall“, explained Bobby, who spent the whole winter building the bothy with help from Eigg residents as well as friends and family.

TBP’s commitment to using sustainable materials and natural building techniques to create simple, modern designs and experiment with solutions for renewable energy systems and the challenges of living off-grid was in perfect harmony with the green ethos now developing on the isle of Eigg as well as its budding creative economy fostered by Lucy Conway’s Eigg Box project.

“I had heard about Eigg Box as a creative enterprise on Eigg and I got in touch with Lucy in May last year” said Bobby. “ I had a good look at many spaces on the island, but what soon became obvious was that Lucy and Eddie had a great spot on their croft with a fantastic view over the Crofting landscape and the isle of Rum with the Cleadale cliffs at the back, so that’s the place we decided upon. It was ideal for Sweeney’s Bothy or Bothan Shuibhne as it is called in Gaelic.”

Sweeney's Bothy

Sweeney’s Bothy

view from the bothy

view from the bothy

You can find out more about the processes that led to the whole vision being developed by looking at Sweeney’s Bothy and the blog posts associated with it.

The Bothy warming party on Saturday 15 February will be followed by constant occupation of the space by visiting artists for the next few months as it is fully booked until June! The focus for the residencies will be wilderness ecology, and we are looking forward to some stimulating interaction between the visiting artists, the Green Team and the Earth Connections Centre on Eigg.

Any artist interested in using the space should contact the TBP team through their website.

In the meantime, Eigg Box is helping 10 creative islanders involved with music, media and crafts to get off the ground and become self-sustainable.

Creativity is now becoming firmly established as an innovative way to sustain our islands’ economy. Let’s have more of it!


15 Nov 2013

A series of roadshows in the Highlands and Islands to help people make the most of digital technology will launch in Inverness on 19th November.

Over the next few months, ‘Our Digital Zone’ will be setting up in venues including Elgin, Lhanbryde, Buckie, Forres, Dingwall, Fort William, Dunoon, Oban, Hopeman and Lossiemouth. The free events are for both social and business users and will share information on how technology can benefit how we live and work. The programme is being run by a partnership between Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Business Gateway and Citizens Online.

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New powers for Scotland’s communities

Plans for greater local decision making.

A new law will make it easier for communities to take over public sector land and buildings, reform the community right to buy and give communities greater say in the provision of services.

The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill is designed to strengthen and nurture community participation and encourage enterprising community development.

Communities will be able to identify and ask for any public sector land or buildings that they feel they could make better use of than its current owner.

The decision whether to transfer that asset will be based on which proposed use would provide the greatest benefit to the community.

Legislation will be updated and simplified to support local authorities’ provision and management of allotments.

Local authorities will have a duty to provide allotments linked to and triggered by actual demand and to protect permanent allotment sites from closure.

Where current allotment provision is not sufficient to satisfy demand, the local authority will be under a duty to keep waiting lists below a specified target whether by acquiring land or otherwise.

There will be new duties to strengthen Community Planning, so that public sector agencies work as one to deliver better outcomes for communities

Views will also be invited on how communities might benefit from legislation to improve the national and local focus on improving outcomes, currently implemented through Scotland Performs.

The Bill also proposes:

• Streamlining and extending the existing community right to buy to cover urban and rural communities as part of our ambition to have 1 million acres in community ownership by 2020.

• Providing new powers to help councils deal with defective and dangerous buildings, and to provide local relief schemes on business rates.

• Increasing transparency about the management and use of Common Good assets.

Launching the Bill consultation at Castlemilk Stables in Glasgow, Local Government and Planning Minister Derek Mackay said:

“Scotland’s people are its greatest asset and it is only with the confidence that comes with independence that people will be able to fully determine their own futures.

“The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill is about people and communities taking their own decisions about their future.

“This will build on the support of the Scottish Government, set out by the First Minister in the Lerwick Declaration, for subsidiarity and local decision making.

“The Bill will help community groups to take over public land and buildings where they think they can make better use of them than their current public sector owners.

“This Bill will also reform the community right to buy, giving urban communities in Scotland same rights as rural communities, where it is in the public interest.

“Rules on Scotland’s allotments will also be simplified. Allotments foster a community spirit and provide a range of benefits such as a cheap source of fresh fruit and vegetables, and therefore a healthy diet.”

COSLA President, Cllr David O’Neill, today welcomed the consultation saying:

“COSLA welcomes the extension of the duty of Community Planning to encompass the whole of the public sector, which we believe will improve how partners work together locally and deliver better outcomes for our communities.

“We are also delighted to see the Scottish Government being explicit in its commitment to local democracy.

“To this end, COSLA will be arguing that the European Charter for Local Self-Government, mentioned in the consultation, should be enacted as part of the Bill, thus guaranteeing the political, administrative and financial independence of local authorities.”

The Carnegie UK Trust said:

“We welcome todays publication of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill which contains a range of proposals that we believe will help Scotland’s communities to thrive.

“In particular, we support the proposal to place a duty on Scottish Ministers to develop, consult on and publish the outcomes they seek for the people of Scotland. Scotland is already recognised as an international leader on measuring wellbeing through its use of Scotland Performs.

“The proposals would put this approach on the statute books, enabling and requiring future governments to also set out their own vision for improving the wellbeing of the people of Scotland, and ensuring that we can hold them to account for progress towards better outcomes.”

Notes To Editors

The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill consultation document is available at:http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Consultations/Current


This week the Heritage Lottery Fund announced a grant of £3 million to conserve the landscape of Coigach-Assynt. The investment, including £100,000 development funding, aims to bring long-term social, economic and environmental benefits to the area.

Covering an area of 606km2, the Landscape Partnership project, part of a wider 40-year vision, has been developed by a partnership led by the Scottish Wildlife Trust. Activities will include restoring parts of the landscape such as regenerating and reconnecting remaining native woodland, restoring blanket bog and heath moor and improving paths. The internationally significant Iron Age settlement at Clachtoll Broch will be excavated and preserved. Local people and visitors will also be engaged through a comprehensive volunteering programme and a cultural learning programme which will increase understanding of this vast area’s complex heritage.

Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said, “Nature lies at the very heart of what makes Scotland special and no where is that more evident than the astounding scenery of Coigach-Assynt. However, the enormous pressures upon these landscapes mean that we have to tackle their restoration and conservation on a bigger scale than ever before. The Landscape Partnership programme does just that, and more. It brings real cohesion to the natural and built heritage of the region while reconnecting its communities with the nature that lies on their doorstep.”

Project Manager of the Coigach-Assynt Living Landscape (CALL), Viv Halcrow, said, “This Heritage Lottery Funding could have a great impact across the whole Coigach-Assynt Living Landscape. It would  not only benefit the natural, cultural and built environment, but could help to increase integration between communities, landowners, and organisations. The CALL partnership is very grateful to have received a stage one pass and are looking forward to developing the project in preparation for a stage two submission.”

HLF’s Landscape Partnership (LP) programme – which has now been running for a decade – is the most significant grant scheme available for landscape-scale projects. To date, over £160m has been invested in 91 different areas across the UK helping forge new partnerships between public and community bodies and ensuring people are better equipped to understand and tackle the needs of their local landscapes.

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Crofting Counties Agricultural Grant Scheme Drainage Grants

The Crofting Counties Agricultural Grants Scheme (CCAGS) provides assistance towards improving and sustaining the viability of croft businesses. In doing this it also helps achieve other benefits such as improved animal health and welfare.

The principle objective of CCAGS is to sustain the economic basis and way of life and so help retain population in crofting areas. Support is available to eligible applicants for land improvement, agricultural buildings, access and facilities for keeping livestock. In doing so CCAGS contributes to maintaining and preserving an agricultural base in severely disadvantaged areas and encourages investment in the economic potential of the land.

All potential applicants should note that important changes to CCAGS, including new rules on the application of penalties, came into force on 01 February 2013.

Transition year and drainage option for CCAGS scheme

Last month (20/09/2013) we advised that Rural Support Schemes were to continue while details of the next Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP) is decided. We highlighted that Crofting Counties Agricultural Grants (Scotland) Scheme (CCAGS) would be continued next year, but the drainage element (included in CCAGS option 4) may not be available as it depends on the final transition regulations agreed by the European Commission.

SRDP funding for capital projects is not permitted under current European CAP transition regulations and although the Scottish Government and other Governments across Europe are continuing to press hard for a full roll over of the Rural Development programme in 2014, it is still not clear whether we will be able to continue to fund CCAGS drainage projects next year.

Any potential applicant wishing to undertake this kind of drainage work (option 4) is therefore strongly encouraged to submit their application before 15/11/2013 to allow any appropriate approvals to be issued before the end of the current funding period (31/12/2013).  As previously indicated we have taken steps to ensure that CCAGS remains open during the transition year through a domestic scheme because of its importance to supporting crofting communities.  Unfortunately, however, the regulations on State Aid will prevent us extending the drainage element under such a domestic scheme.

If applicants have any queries regarding this, they should contact their local SG RPID area office

For further information please see the CCAGS Guidance Notes for Applicants Bookle

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