Early Summer News Letter
New Fundraising Shop
The many weeks of consultation, negotiation, grant applications and hard work have paid off and UCT have been able to secure funding to look at the possibility of a community hub with office space and an upcycling shop. It is hoped that the empty shop premises on the corner of Quay St and Argyll St, and opposite the historic town clock, will be a bustling hive of activity by early July.
The board are delighted to announce that Stage 1 funding has been secured from the Scottish Land Fund, enabling the lease of the property for six months whilst conducting feasibility studies into the possibility of purchasing the premises for the community. It will enable UCT, Lochbroom Wood Fuels and Broompower (the community hydro scheme) to have a strong, accessible presence in the centre of the village whilst providing a much-needed fundraising shop for pre-loved and upcycled items with the potential for other innovative and imaginative ventures.
UCT have heard many representations lamenting the many empty shopfronts and the visual impact this apparent lack of life has on locals and visitors alike. It was also clear from the reaction to the closing of the Blythswood outlet that a fundraising shop was very high on the list of locals’ priorities. UCT are, therefore, looking forward to this new and exciting development and hope it will be widely supported.
New Engagement Officer
Interviews are being held this week to appoint a new UCT Community Engagement Officer. Both Tina Hartley and Lee Heaney, the UCT Project Officers, are leaving and UCT would like to thank them sincerely for all their hard work, commitment and expertise and to wish them well in their future careers.
Meanwhile, the case for Broompower, the community hydro scheme at Lael, is strengthening daily as Lochbroom Community Renewables announce a dramatic increase in Community Share sales with £118,000 of shares now sold. The full £900,000 need to be raised by the end of August in order for the project, which already has planning consent and FiT pre-accreditation, to receive the green light to go ahead. This would provide a source of clean energy and a dependable income stream for community projects. The shares scheme offers a secure return at 4% and money can be withdrawn again between 5 and 15 years after the scheme is connected to the grid (anticipated date for completion is winter 2017/18). Many investors prefer to place their finance in safe, local schemes rather than distant, anonymous banks. For further information and details on investment opportunities please see LBCR’s website at www.broompower.org.
After a Public meeting about Community Broad band, we have set up a working group to look at how the areas not benefiting from the new super-fast fibre in Ullapool can access a suitable Broad band speed. A study visit to Knoydart is planned and a pilot project based on Broad band provision for the Lochside and Leckmelm is being investigated.
If you have any views, comments or questions on any of the above, or if you would like to become involved, please do contact UCT, your community trust.
Broadband, Lochbroom Chalet Park and new Directors…
find out what’s been happening at UCT
Lochbroom Chalet Park – Community Right to Buy
With your support and following UCT’s successful right to buy applications for Lochbroom Chalet Park, (CB00182) & Chalet No2 Leckmelm (CB00183) Loch Broom, Ullapool, IV23 2RN, UCT can confirm that the owner is to sell the land. As we have now registered an interest, the next step is to seek community support, via a secret ballot, and obtain our community’s views on purchase.
The land and chalet have been independently valued at £285,000 and any purchase will be subject to available funding. At present, there are not firm details on how the land will be used and community consultation will continue. However, it will be used within the remit of the Act for sustainable development giving consideration to social, environmental and economic factors.
Soon you will be asked to vote, the land is in two separate parts – firstly, 3 acres of land that represents the majority of Lochbroom Chalet Park (CB00182) & Chalet No2 Leckmelm (CB00183) Loch Broom, Ullapool, IV23 2RN.
If you have any questions please contact Tina tel: 613879 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Broadband for the Future
‘Broadband for the future’ aims to provide improved broadband to the areas within UCT and Coigach which will not be served by the new BT fibre roll out. Currently only Ullapool and Lochinver will receive the fibre upgrade in 2016. We are currently pulling together a partnership team to progress this project and continue to compile information on the current broadband provision.
We desperately need more responses to our questionnaire. So if you live in one of the areas below then please complete our questionnaire which can be found on our website or from our office in the Village Hall.
Ardcharnich | Ardmair | Blughasary | Braemore | Coigach | Lael | Leckmelm | Letters | Lochbroom | Lochside | Loggie | Rhue | Scoraig | Strathcanaird
We are also looking for volunteers to join our working group. If you are interesting in joining please contact Lee Heaney tel: 613879 email: email@example.com
Become a Member
Our Community Trust relies on strong membership to be effective with a healthy membership demonstrating local support for UCT’s aims and objectives and adding weight to funding applications for projects.
We also welcome applications from our younger community members (12 – 17) and truly believe their voice should be heard, they are our future! Membership forms can be found HERE on our website or can be collected from our office in the Village Hall.
Hello and farewell
We are delighted to have two new Directors join our Board. Robbie McFedries and Jenny McBain have now joined our team and we look forward to working with them. However we have to say goodbye to Becky Thomson who has resigned as Director and Treasurer due to work commitments. We wish Becky all the best for the future and want to say thank you for all her contributions to UCT over the years.
We are very pleased with ourselves for achieving Investors in Young People accreditation and to show our award off we will be holding an event at Ullapool Ferry Terminal. Any Businesses (small or large) are invited! Our event will be on the 22nd June, 12pm, Ullapool Ferry Terminal. We will be presented with our plaque and there will be talks, photos and videos explaining how ourselves and IIYP work. There will also be sandwiches, cakes, drinks etc so come along and see how you can invest in young people!
Consider joining our friendly team directing ambitious community-owned local projects such as:
- Community broadband
- Local Housing
- Purchase of Lochbroom Chalet Park for community development
- Lochbroom Woodfuels
- Community hydro project
- Investing in private renewables
- Income generation
UCT is a member-owned Development Trust covering the area from Gruinard and Dundonnell to Ullapool and Elphin.
Our Board should represent the whole community so you don’t need formal qualifications or a big CV; maybe you can bring common sense, experience from running a business or just from life!
Currently we’d especially welcome people with skills in marketing, finance and employment. We hold monthly two-hour meetings and Directors additionally give whatever time they can to support the staff and the organisation.
To express your interest in joining the board please prepare a few paragraphs about yourself explaining what you could bring to UCT and send to firstname.lastname@example.org