Our community-owned shop!
February 2021 – Oakwood news
Jane Mellis, Oakwood Coordinator reports that the Christmas sales gave a last minute boost to sales after a very quiet October and November. The shop is now closed until the end of March for maintenance and stocktaking. Amazingly, despite CV19 we managed to open up in the summer thanks to our band of dedicated volunteers and crafters and we are now stocking an even wider product range from local sources. Over the next two months Jane is working with Tony Gowland to create an online version of the Oakwood shop so that people can buy beautiful products from the comfort of their armchair and have them sent just about anywhere in the world! Watch this space for the shop launch.
December 2020 – Christmas opening hours
- Fridays 12 to 3 pm
- Saturdays 12 to 3 pm
- Sundays 12 to 2 pm
For the last-minute shoppers among you we will be open
- Monday 21st 12 to 2 pm
- Tuesday 22nd 12 to 2 pm
- Wednesday 23rd 12 to 3 pm
August 2020 – Oakwood is open
We are delighted that Oakwood has been able to re-open. As before it is full of locally made craft items ranging from cards and framed watercolour paintings, to children’s toys and items made from uniquely printed fabric and Harris tweed. There is handmade jewellery and hand painted glassware, plus a selection of books from children’s stories to new publications by local authors, and a range of maps and walking guides.
While it is of great interest to visitors, we also urge all locals to call in and look around. It’s a great source of gifts and treats.
Even here we can’t avoid Covid, so modifications have been made to protect helpers and customers, and ensure you can shop in safety.
Oakwood manager Jane Mellis would love to hear from any local craft makers who would like to sell their products through Oakwood, and she is also keen to hear from any one who would be willing to volunteer to help in the shop for a few hours. Please contact Jane by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In 2017, Visit Scotland announced the closure of this building which used to be their Visitor Information Centre.
The local community council, tourist association, community and community members agreed that the building should be taken into community ownership and subsequently, with grant support from the Sunart Community Benefit Fund and Scottish Land Fund, it was purchased by the Sunart Community Company, our local registered Charity.
The main aims of Oakwood are
- to provide visitor information services through partnership with the local tourist association SMMAATA
- to provide an opportunity for our talented local producers to showcase and sell their work
- to be a sustainable and enjoyable project for the community
- to raise funds for the Sunart Community Company Charity to aid its community projects and it’s mission to Help Keep Sunart a Great Place to Live, Work and Visit
A tireless band of enthusiastic volunteers have been busy renovating and decorating the building. What a fabulous transformation!
Behind the till, you will meet one of our fantastic local volunteers (they may even be one of our craft producers!). They will help you with tourist information, and background for the produce in the shop, as well as give you a nice insight into our busy local community
£41,000 Awarded from the Scottish Land Fund!
Scottish Land Fund have awarded us £41,000 to help us with the purchase and initial running of the former Visitor Information Centre in Strontian.
Sunart is the only group in Lochaber to receive a Land Fund award this round. John Tyldsley, Chairman explained “The Land Fund award allows us to begin negotiations on a ‘cash offer’ with Visit Scotland so haven’t got the property yet, but we’ll keep our fingers crossed over the next month or so..”
If the building can be purchased, volunteers from Sunart, Morvern, Moidart, Ardgour, Ardnamurchan Tourist Association (SMMAATA), will keep part of the building well stocked with leaflets and ‘What’s On’ information and complementary maps. There may well be space for a heritage display too.
We plan to cover running costs by renting affordable retail display space to local businesses in the building, with retailers taking turns to staff the desk.
Izzy Baker, the companys’ Project Officer who will be part funded by the grant explains “Eight local businesses registered an interest in the Spring, expressing a desire to work collaboratively to create a retail space for local crafters, artists and to promote local activity providers, and there’s probably space for more. Now that we have this funding and we’ve applied to buy the building, we will be re-advertising and calling a meeting of interested parties. The whole idea is to promote local businesses and help strengthen the local economy. If any other craft producers or visitor attractions would like space but didn’t register in March, they please get in touch via email@example.com.”