What has been done?
At the Trust’s Community Open Day in June 2013, a mandate was gained to set up a steering group to investigate what the pros and cons of community land ownership on Tiree might be. A steering group of interested community members was formed and they achieved 2 main objectives during the rest of 2013:
- Making contact with important project partners and stakeholders including Argyll Estate, HIE and The Scottish Government amongst others.
- Devising a strategic project plan as well as holding 3 public meetings to keep the community updated of these plans.
What are we doing now?
The Trust was successful in obtaining funding from HIE to employ a consultant to support the Steering Group to achieve their objectives for 2014. Roots Design Workshop was appointed in July 2014 on a short term contract and will work with 2 members of the Steering Group, Donnie Campbell and Bill Welstead, to:
- Complete an Options Appraisal study. This will assess which specific parts of Tiree are best to focus on for potential purchase and will look beyond just the land owned by Argyll Estate (e.g. The Reef, The Airport, The Pier etc.).
- Begin a mapping project which will, using the latest digital mapping software, build an accurate map of Tiree’s crofts and common grazing’s as well as other land and properties. We are working closely with Crofting Commission, Registers of Scotland and the Scottish Agricultural College to achieve this. A quality, digital Tiree map will also have many uses beyond the CLO project.
What will happen next?
If a suitable option prevails from the Options Appraisal, this would lead to a feasibility study to fully investigate that option in detail. If it takes place, it will probably take a whole year, over 2015/16 and if the feasibility study conclusions are approved, formal ballots will then take place on Tiree. The ballots, with all Tiree voters eligible, will be on whether to attempt to proceed to purchase or not. If approval is given, the Scottish Government will then decide whether to allow the purchase. If approved, the actual conveyancing of the land could take up to another two years. If the whole process goes ahead smoothly and the land is eventually bought, possession could be taken by the community between 2019 and 2021.