Island’s projects turning tide on population decline
TWO MAJOR projects are coming to fruition on the isle of Ulva after a lengthy campaign.
After four years, Ulva School Community Association (USCA), supported by Mull and Iona Community Trust (MICT) local development officers, has made progress with its projects to reverse population decline and increase the sustainability of Ulva Primary School.
With funding from Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the local development officers have helped to build on the enthusiasm and determination of the local volunteers who campaigned vigorously and successfully against the planned closure of the school in 2010.
Work has started on the Ulva Ferry pontoon, which will provide opportunities for economic development in the area on a seasonal basis and also improve facilities for local boat operators including tour and fishing boats.
The seven-berth pontoon is now under construction and will be in operation during the summer. Part of the scheme is to provide a fuel berth which, it is hoped, will reduce fuel costs for local sailors.
The £451,000 grant funding from Coastal Communities Fund also allows for MICT to employ Mark Millward as full- time pontoon manager this season as local employment is one of the objectives of the project.
For more information about the pontoon, contact either Cally Fleming cfleming@mict. co.uk or Mark Millward firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Ulva Ferry community bus, specially converted to include a wheelchair lift, provides a valuable service to locals, particularly those who would otherwise be isolated.
Thanks to the Bus Investment Fund, the vehicle also provides six part-time jobs for residents in an area with few such opportunities.
For more information visit the website www.ufcb.org. uk or contact Mike Hogan 07775531301 email@example.com or Helen MacDonald.
Together, these projects will contribute to the long-term sustainability of the Ulva Ferry area, providing income, employment and secure housing for residents.
Iain Thomson, convener of USCA, said: ‘ The latest news about the grant from the Rural Housing Fund is a fantastic boost to the project. So much time and work has been put in and many challenges overcome.
‘It is the result of a community pulling together in the face of the school closure and keeping hope alive for the future of the area. I look forward to see construction begin soon.’
Ulva Primary children Matilda Munro and Issy Greenfield cut the first sod, above, while, below right, Ulva Ferry development steering group Iain Morrison, Jeanette Cutlack, Mark Millward and Jeanie MacColl at the ceremony and supervising Torosay Sandpit Ltd pouring concrete for the foundation.