So lets look at some positives. I know some people are sceptical about LDO's or 'yoghurt weavers' as I've heard it said. Kevin and I have been in position as a job share for 3 years. So far we have attracted funding too the area of £168,000+ and as I write there are another £38,000 worth of application pending decision. Thats a chunk of cash. But the real beauty is that the main projects haven't even started. The Health Hub, Harbour, Housing and Cape Wrath could see these numbers multiplying quite quickly. With these big projects will come job opportunities and increased spending within the community.
The ward discretionary fund has backed the Cape Wrath Trail with a promise of a £1,000 award. This in turn will guarantee the other wards along the route also contribute £1k. All of which will be doubled by HIE. The CWT should have around £8k to spend on destination marketing website for the Cape Wrath Trail. That’s gotta be good for the area.
Other good news is that
And finally HIE have said I should apply directly to them for assistance with the market research for the harbour project. I have submitted a £5k application this week to SSE fund and will be following this up with a new submission to HIE. The approximate cost of the market research will be around £20k but will prove once and for all that the Port Chamuill project is worth backing and is probably the single most important piece of work we can undertake to give the harbour a realistic chance of being built !!!!
Lets all just be positive !
Well this is a full week of meetings. I often hear of people complaining about meetings, intact I'm probably quite guilty of this too. But this week the meetings will hopefully be incredibly productive and see us take a step forward on all the projects. So tonight will see a meeting of the Durness Community Council where we will be discussing the proposed community purchase of Cape Wrath. Tuesday sees another meeting about Cape Wrath with DDG and a few interested parties. On the back of these I'm hoping we can take a few practical steps forward with 'Cape Wrath'.
Later in the week I'll be attending the Cape Wrath Trail Board of Directors meeting where hopefully some of the North West and Central Sutherlands councillors will be in attendance and help with the potential funding of the project. If our ward councillors back the project with just £1,000 from the ward budget. The Cape Wrath Trail can lever another £7k from other funders to help take the first strides on this giant of a trial.
On Friday I'll be meeting with HIE to look at the Eriboll Harbour project. There is an enormous amount of work to do, to prove that this is a variable and sustainable project. This undoubtably means a feasibility study (along with a few other substantial studies), but without this and without proof of the projects viability we will not get the backing from funders. So, there will have to be a number of obstacles to overcome, but in doing so we will be able to prove that the project is worth pursuing and it will make the plans that much more robust as a consequence.
In the meantime……….I've got to prepare for a meeting :-)
Well I obviously haven't got the hang of this blogging thing yet, I understand they are supposed to be updated regularly, apparently annually isn't regular enough !
So here's a brief update about whats going on…………...
There is an awful lot going on just now and it's all quite exciting and potentially really good for the area. HIE provided us with some specialist business support. This is to aid plan out the steps for the Eriboll Harbour. The results of which should be back next week. A fund being run by Scottish and Southern Electric has just opened that fits the Harbour project like a glove. So with potential funding from that and HIE, who knows we may have the funds in place to undertake all the survey work, planning and design work by April next year ! Not that I'm counting any chickens just yet, but the potential is certainly there.
We are working on a draft business plan for Cape Wrath and the potential community right to buy. The redevelopment of Bard Terrace is still very much on the horizon and another couple of funding applications have been fired off today. With a little luck and a favourable wind Bard Terrace could be ready for tenants by the start of the new financial year. This would provide a modest income to DDG that would enable some other aspects of the Development Plan. If you haven't seen the development plan have a look around this website, it's here lurking somewhere !
That's enough from me just now. If you are interested in any of the projects that DDG have on the board at the moment and are wanting further information or would like to add a comment or point of view etc then feel free to get in touch with me, Kevin or any of the directors.
Neil's email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Neil is a director, formally a Local Development Officer for the Durness Development Group.