Would you like to help keep “Sunart a great place to live, work and visit?”
Well if you would, then consider joining the Board of the community company! This is our joint mission, developed in conjunction with the Sunart Community Council and as with any local committee – it’s a lot easier if we have a few shoulders to the wheel! This autumn sees a number of our Directors retiring from office so we have a number of vacancies. For further details about our activities please take a look at the website www.sunartcommunitycompany.org.uk
Briefly, since a number of far sighted individuals founded the charity in 2005 it has helped facilitate a number of significant developments and to make sure that the community owns more assets for future generations. Owning the angling rights to the River Strontian helps raise funds for our running costs with the help of the Angling Club. The company owns three visitor moorings and manages the moorings association, as well as a number of amenity areas in the village, including the Back Road, the land around the jetty, and the land the community hydro is built on. We help distribute and audit the funds donated by Sunart Community Renewables, which so far has helped unlock over £1million of match funding from £100,000 of donations. We are also helping support the development of the Men’s Shed (and community Craft Hub), repairing the Strontian Jetty and employing the Project Officer working to develop long term plans for Dail Mhor House. Our most recent project has been Oakwood which has enabled local producers to sell over £9,000 of goods, putting money back into our community, as well as keeping the visitor centre open to help our tourists! If you think you could help with press and social media, assist at fundraising events, write funding applications, assist with book keeping and generally want to guide the future Direction of the company then please get in touch before our AGM.
This will be held on Tuesday 29th October in the Sunart Centre, at 7.30pm. This is a chance to get an update about all the projects we are involved in, and to ask questions about the work we do. Anyone who wishes to become an elected Director should complete an application ahead of the AGM, although we can co-opt volunteers after the meeting if you can’t make it!
Diary Date! Christmas Auction
We are now planning our regular Christmas auction, which will be held on Saturday November 30th in the Village Hall. This is a great chance to pick up some wonderful Christmas goodies, raise funds for the community at the same time and of course it is always a great night out. We invite all local businesses to donate prizes, and of course we are very grateful to everyone who bakes cakes, makes beautiful preserves and wines, crafts or who donates shop-bought items for auction.
Longrigg Woodland Viability Study
Investigations are still ongoing into the viability of the Community Company purchasing Longrigg Woodland which ‘the Forestry’ are intending to sell off. In particular we are considering routes for timber extraction. Having explored various potential routes the remaining access option appears to be using part of Longrigg Road. We have been talking with the Highland Council Roads Engineer for his input and will be commissioning a detailed study to give us information on the suitability and limitations of Longrigg Road, and recommendations and costings for what would be required to make it suitable. Once we have a clearer picture, we will then carry out a formal consultation with the community.
The reason for the study is to try to identify what restrictions would need to be in place, e.g, speed limit, how many trailer loads of timber in total, limitations on numbers of loads a day, times of day, and times of year etc and we wont have this for a few months.
It is important to have as much information as we can so that we are able to make the right choice as to whether or not to proceed. We must also keep in mind that if we buy the woodland ourselves, we can manage any potential disruption with the community in mind, which may not be the case with a commercial buyer. We will keep you all posted.
Christmas is coming to Oakwood
It’s been a busy summer and September has continued to bring many visitors into Oakwood for tourism advice and to buy local products, maps and books. Since opening in March this year we have welcomed 7,300 people through the door!
We have lots of items that would make wonderful presents for Christmas and have events planned for the winter season. Many of our producers are beavering away preparing some lovely new gifts for Christmas. Keep your ears and eyes open for more announcements and special opening hours!
We would like to say a huge thank you to all our wonderful local producers for filling the shop with such a variety of high-quality stock, and to all the volunteers behind the till and behind the scenes who make Oakwood so enjoyable and a success for all involved. (We still have vacancies if you can spare a few hours per week!)
Sunart Community Benefit Fund
SCBF welcomes the start of the rainy season again! Some might say the rainy season has never really gone away – but whatever the weather, Sunart Community Renewables continues to raise money for local good causes. The SCBF will therefore be open to applications until the 20th October 2019. Standard Grants can be made for between £500 and £5,000, and Large Grants (which may require a more detailed application and meet our guidelines) are for grants of over £5,000! If you would like an application form or to read the fund guidelines please see the documents page on our website, alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org. We are planning a celebration of what has been achieved through the fund this winter, so watch out for further details!
(Please also remember that applications (normally for amounts of up to £500) can also be made to the Sunart Community Council. The Council meets monthly whereas the SCBF Panel only meets twice per year in the Spring and Autumn.)