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Local Craft Outlet and Visitor Centre Receives £41,000 boost!

Although Local Development Officer Angela Williams has left the company, her grand finale was to help secure £41,000 from the Scottish Land Fund to help with our attempt to purchase and run 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. A big community ‘thank you’ goes to Mandy Crookes of the Woodland Pottery who’s been stocking up the table outside the shop all summer so that all our visitors have access to maps and leaflets hopefully next year will be different!

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 can contact me now via knows, if we get to buy the building we could have a “Christmas Gift Shop” for local crafters!

Sunart Paths Network Group are excited to announce their next project this autumn will be to publish a new leaflet for the area: Paths Around Sunart. We are very pleased to have received £1,500 grant from Paths for All towards our project. We will have a few of our autumn working party days to do some path maintenance and Walk Sunart days, walking various paths for the leaflet, so let Izzy know if you’re interested either. We will post dates on the Community Company Facebook Page.

Loch Development news:Our new visitor moorings at the Strontian Jetty are now being used and we have been receiving donations. Thanks to Peter and Brian for monitoring numbers of boats using the moorings and boats venturing up the loch.

The Sunart Water Festival is THIS MONTH!Watery fun day for all ages with loads of activities on in and around the Loch. Live music, bbqs, evening buffet and exciting prizes to be won! Don’t forget the fancy dress competition: Best dressed Viking! To win the crowns of King and Queen of Loch Sunart! 16thSeptember! The community company will be running its burger stall at the Water Festival.

W’d like to say a HUGE THANK you to all the volunteer chefs and helpers, and supporters who came to our stall on the Sunart Show day – we raised over £1,200 for the charity!

AGM Reminder– Tuesday 23rd October is our Annual General Meeting – if you are interested in becoming a Director or just doing some volunteering please get in touch!


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