Our Island, Our Future

Positive Response for Community Projects and Grant Offered for Hynish

Tiree Community Development Trust Members have voted in favour of progressing both the Harbours and Hynish Projects, following a members’ vote which took place last week.

The Trust held their open information day last Saturday, the 11th of November, to give the community the opportunity to learn more about both the Hynish and Harbours Projects which The Trust has been investigating for some time now.

The positive vote for both projects now gives Tiree Trust the green light to continue working towards assuming ownership of both harbours in Milton and Scarinish and the Hynish Complex currently owned by Hebridean Trust. However, future development of both projects still relies on securing the funding that was targeted in the development plans.

The community vote, which was conducted as a postal vote came back in favour of both projects, with Harbours being backed by 98% of voters and Hynish backed by 68% of voters. 170 people voted on the Harbours question in total and 169 on the Hynish question.

Both harbours are currently owned by Argyll Estates and have been offered to Tiree Trust for £1. The main funding goals lie with the development and refurbishment stages. The overall funding requirements for the Harbours project is currently set at £1,620,000 with £1,550,000 of this budgeted for development and construction. The remaining £70,000 goes towards the pre-development stage, including planning, design, surveys and legal costs, with some of these costs being incurred now by TCDT.

Tiree Trust and the Harbours Steering Group have made positive steps in investigating funding sources. An Initial application has already been submitted to the European Maritime Fisheries Fund for 50% of the overall cost, and favourable political support has been received from our MSP and MP. HIE have shown support and further talks are planned now to establish what level of financial support might be possible and when it might be available, so we still have some way to go in meeting our funding targets.

The Hynish Complex has been owned and run by the Hebridean Trust for over 30 years, acquiring different buildings within the complex over that period and developing them into various types of accommodation – long term housing lets, group lets, short-term holiday lets, exhibition spaces, the Skerryvore Signal Tower and most recently introducing a year-round Café within the Alan Stevenson House.

The Hebridean Trust approached Tiree Trust in 2015 with an offer to transfer ownership of the Hynish Complex for a nominal sum of £40,000 (to pay off an outstanding loan) plus legal fees. Since then work has been done on the initial pre-development stage including a feasibility study to produce a detailed survey of all the buildings and initial cost estimates for repairs and ongoing maintenance. The feasibility work amounted to £33,000 and Tiree Trust were successful in receiving £25,000 funding from the Stage 1 Scottish Land Fund which went towards the overall cost, with Tiree Trust contributing the remaining £8,000.

Prior to the community vote, Tiree Trust had submitted a Stage 2 Scottish Land Fund (SLF) application which requested funding for the capital during acquisition as well as some revenue costs during the first 2 years of the project.

We are very pleased to report that the SLF funding has been secured and Tiree Trust have been offered £154,000 which will now go towards covering the transfer of the buildings, legal and professional advice, technical drawings and specifications for the Barracks and a 2-year development officer post. Work on finalising plans and costs for the Barracks will be prioritised to ensure funding targets are clear and funders are engaged at an early stage.

The initial survey report produced by ARPL Architects (pre-development stage 1) recommended repairs and improvements in 3 categories, including short term and priority estimated at £131,000, medium term which includes redevelopment of the Barracks/Lower square estimated at £810,000 and the long-term development costs which was estimated at £160,000. This amounts to an overall cost of £1,101,000. Funders have already been contacted with regard to these costs and include The Big Lottery Fund, Heritage Lottery Fund, Leader and Rural Housing Fund. Further talks will be held as soon as detailed costs and plans are available for the Barracks.

Please stay tuned for updates on both projects.