Skye & Raasay members approve 17 projects through Highland Coastal Communities Funding

Seventeen worthwhile projects on the Isle of Skye and Raasay are set to benefit after Area Committee members approved funding from the Highland Coastal Communities Fund earlier today.

The Isle of Skye and Raasay received £505.492 from the Highland Coastal Communities Fund (HCCF), with the possibility of another allocation coming through in October.

A total of £3,034,703 was awarded to Highland by the Scottish Government.

This is a new fund designed to support economic regeneration and sustainable development. The fund is derived from revenue generated by Scottish Government Crown Estate marine assets. Each year, local authorities will be allocated a proportion of the profits.

An open call for expressions of interest was held in December last year. Thereafter a number of projects were invited to proceed to full application stage. Those applications were discussed a 17 of them approved at today’s Isle of Skye and Raasay Area Committee.

Isle of Skye and Raasay Area Committee Chair, Cllr John Gordon, said: “This funding will make a huge difference for not only local people but in terms of supporting tourism in Skye and Raasay.

“This will be an annual application so we can empower communities in terms of how this money can be spent.

“As well as the good news about this funding it will give groups and communities a chance to think about what would help them in the future.

“This is a very good news story and just the kind of news everyone needs after coming through such a difficult year.”

A total of £689,469,27 in applications were received for consideration, and members carefully considered each one based on their merits and conditions placed upon projects at the expression of interest stage.

  • Radio Skye – a project expected to make a huge difference to those in the north of Skye, as well as those in the south. It involves the installation of new antennas in both areas on the island. Its £18,400 application was approved.
  • Kyleakin & Kylerhea Community Council - Castle Access Paths – At a time where more people are walking this project was seen as a great asset to the community. Its £6,278 application was approved.
  • Geary Common Grazings Committee - Geary Crofting Township Regeneration – These applications reflect the diversity of the area and the different outcomes for the islands, the work also addresses rural depopulation by creating new crofts and developing affordable housing. Its £15,125 application was approved.
  • Broadford & Strath Community Co - Elgol Toilets & Visitor Facilities – The creation of accessible toilets, adjacent disabled parking, improved parking. Members agreed the project would respond to the tourism sector as well as the COVID response. Its £34,500.00 application was approved.
  • Portree & Braes Community Trust - Camanachd Square Feasibility Study – Its £31,500 application was approved.
  • Edinbane Community Company Ltd - Lyndale Multi-user Path - £25,000 – A project that will align with active travel and is also strong in terms of connecting members of the community. Members also recognised the huge community support. The overarching aspect to this project is how it fits in with the Skye Cycle Network. Its £25,000 application was approved.
  • Skye Sailing Club - Safety Boat Renewal - £22,556 – Members agreed that as an island nation the introduction of safety boats would improve recreation opportunities. Members approved £22,556 for one safety boat.
  • Sleat Community Trust - Toremore Forest - £13,560 – Members approved a £13,560 application.
  • Minginish Community Hall Association - Path and Habitat Improvement. Members agreed this project would have a positive impact on supporting tourism at the Fairy Pools. They also felt they would need to see a larger tranche of funding support from the Outdoor Access Trust through parking fees and therefore approved £5,000.
  • Broadford & Strath Community Co - Corry Capers. New permanent outdoor learning centre to help support the COVID recovery. Members agreed that this project is vital in terms of helping the community recover from COVID and approved an application for £11, 612,50.

Also approved was £7,000 for Climavore CIC - Climavore Builds, £74,003 for Raasay Development Trust - Raasay Community Pontoon & Offshore Facilities – pontoons, toilet and laundry facilities at the ferry terminal, waste and refuse facilities, £34,200 for Broadford & Strath Community Co – introduction of a Community Development Officer to make them more sustainable.

There was also £50,000 of funding approved by Members for the Kilmuir Community Trust - Kilmuir Community Hub (Phase 1), £57,1000 for The Highland Council for the Kilt Rock Car Park Extension, £64,578,27 was approved by Members for Kyleakin Connections - KC Plus, as was £25,000 for Hebridean Diving Services - Coastal Defence Adjacent to Stein Jetty. The funding will be used to stabilise the land that is there, providing an opportunity to rebuild that historic area. Part of Stein is under threat because of the shore. Members agreed this award would enhance the local tourist trade and create employment.

Two projects were deferred by Members, the Ionad Throndairnis - Guthan na Tire/Voices of the Land and the Staffin Slipway Redevelopment, due to concerns around shortfalls in match funding and failing to meet all the conditions of application.

However, Member said they remain committed to both projects and if future HCCF funding allows these should be considered at that time.

29 Mar 2021