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Skye community trust makes progress

A Skye community trust we have been working with has secured marine licences for a new pontoon and moorings, and has been awarded funds to progress plans to purchase Crown foreshore, bringing adjacent land and foreshore into community ownership.

The pontoon and deep-water moorings will provide locals and visitors safe access to the sea at all times, with the potential to increase economic activity in the area. Deep-water moorings will be provided for visiting yachts and provide a welcome anchorage for visitors to the area by sea.

The Scottish Land Fund award will be used to provide an independent valuation of a piece of land adjacent to that which is already in community ownership and a stretch of foreshore currently managed by Crown Estate Scotland. The Glendale Trust aim to purchase the land and foreshore, allowing the community to develop plans to improve facilities and the local environment.

Project lead Elgar Finlay said, “It’s been fantastic to have been involved in this project since its inception back in 2011. Key to our success has been building excellent working relationships with stakeholders including, the Highland Council, Crown Estate Scotland, the Glendale Moorings Association, local landowners and Kames the commercial aquaculture company.

“All have had a part to play and all have shared the vision for the area. Now we are reaching the stage where the project has is beginning to deliver real community benefit is testament to the commitment of all those involved particularly the volunteers who give up so much of their time.”

Crown Estate Scotland’s Head of Property Andy Wells said “We’ve been pleased to support The Glendale Trust with this project. Crown Estate Scotland will continue to work with coastal communities to identify similar opportunities, and we look forward to the completion of this project and helping the Trust with further success in the future.”

Two full time jobs have already been created at Meanish and this number is expected to rise over the coming years. The agreement of commercial leasing arrangements with the fish farm will raise revenue and improved facilities will provide a brand new safe and welcoming stop off point for the many sailing visitors to the area.

Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch MSP Kate Forbes said “It is a fantastic start to 2018 for the Glendale community, well in advance of another busy summer season. The approval of the Marine Licenses, as well as a successful Land Fund application, shows just how much can be achieved by Skye communities. There is no question as to the growing popularity of pontoons along the west coast and it will be a serious boost to the local economy if visitors and locals can access the sea at all times.

 “The £10 million strong Land Fund is available for all communities to apply and I am absolutely delighted that Glendale’s successful application is putting land back in the hands of communities. These two successes are testament to the hard work and persistence of those involved and hopefully there will be many more successes to celebrate in 2018.”