Fu­ture looks bright for Canna

The Oban Times - - The Oban Times & West Highland Times -

A RE­MOTE is­land will have ac­cess to elec­tric­ity 24 hours a day for the first time thanks to lottery cash, writes Mon­ica Gib­son.

Res­i­dents on the Isle of Canna will be able to en­joy the ben­e­fits of a sta­ble round-the­clock elec­tric­ity sup­ply, thanks to an award of £951,087 to the Isle of Canna Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment Trust.

Canna is be­yond the reach of the Na­tional Grid and the money means the trust can in­stall and run a com­mu­nity- owned re­new­able en­ergy-based elec­tric­ity sup­ply re­plac­ing the ex­ist­ing com­pli­cated power ar­range­ment.

Ste­wart Con­nor, project de­vel­op­ment man­ager, said: ‘This award is ex­cel­lent news for the is­land and its com­mu­nity, and is tes­ti­mony to many years of hard work by is­landers past and present.

‘The abil­ity to gen­er­ate our elec­tric­ity from re­new­able sources, which re­places our re­liance on the cur­rent diesel en­gines, will make a huge dif­fer­ence to the lives of peo­ple liv­ing here.’

Mr Con­nor added: ‘Our com­mu­nity will also be re­spon­si­ble for the man­age­ment, main­te­nance and op­er­a­tional as­pects of the new en­ergy sys­tem which will bring huge ben­e­fits di­rectly back to the is­land. We will be able to build on our re­silience by hav­ing the abil­ity to in­crease our pop­u­la­tion, adding much-needed com­mu­nity fa­cil­i­ties and help­ing to make the Is­land of Canna a more sus­tain­able place to live well into the fu­ture.’

As part of the ini­tia­tive, a grant of £ 80,000 was also awarded to Counselling Care: Skye and Lochalsh to en­able the ex­pan­sion of ex­ist­ing and well-used counselling ser­vices.

Mau­reen McGinn, who works with the Big Lottery Fund Scot­land, ex­plained: ‘We are award­ing over £17 mil­lion to 60 in­spir­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions do­ing all they can to sup­port peo­ple across Scot­land fac­ing chal­leng­ing cir­cum­stances.

‘I am de­lighted to see eight com­mu­nity-based projects in the High­lands and Is­lands shar­ing in this fund­ing.’

Ian Black­ford, MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber wel­comed the news.

He said: ‘It is very good news that th­ese or­gan­i­sa­tions have re­ceived grants, which will make life- chang­ing dif­fer­ences to ev­ery­one in­volved.

‘I held a surgery on the Isle of Canna re­cently and heard first-hand about the plans for the power scheme’

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