Fund­ing dou­ble bright­ens Raasay

The Oban Times - - News -

AN IS­LAND devel­op­ment trust has re­ceived two ma­jor fund­ing boosts.

Raasay Devel­op­ment Trust was granted £19,000 from the Scot­tish Land Fund and £64,000 from the Cli­mate Change Fund.

Eleven com­mu­nity groups across Scot­land re­ceived a share of £2.1 mil­lion land fund cash to help them buy land for com­mu­nity own­er­ship. Raasay Devel­op­ment Trust plans to use the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment cash to buy an old quarry and turn it into a site for com­mu­nity en­ter­prises in­clud­ing a wood fuel busi­ness sup­ply­ing logs to mem­bers of the com­mu­nity. It will also use the old quarry for equip­ment needed to con­nect the com­mu­nity’s hy­dro- elec­tric scheme to the na­tional grid.

The trust also plans to in­ves­ti­gate build­ing mi­cro- en­ter­prise units that lo­cal peo­ple can use to set up in busi­ness.

The £64,000 from the Cli­mate Chal­lenge Fund will em­ploy a pro­fes­sional lum­ber­jack and be used to train vol­un­teers and pro­vide ad­vice to house­hold­ers and busi­nesses on how to heat their prop­er­ties more ef­fi­ciently.

In par­tic­u­lar, the pro­ject will look at heat­ing Raasay House us­ing logs grown and pro­cessed lo­cally on the is­land.

Don­nie Oliphant, chair­man of Raasay Devel­op­ment Trust said: ‘ We started sup­ply­ing el­derly peo­ple with logs that vol­un­teers cut from tim­ber kindly do­nated by the Forestry Com­mis­sion. This was pop­u­lar and de­mand has grown. By de­vel­op­ing the en­ter­prise, we can cre­ate a job or two and sup­ply fire­wood to the whole is­land, but still have work for vol­un­teers on a Satur­day morn­ing.’

The Cli­mate Chal­lenge Fund has also awarded £60,000 to Raasay House Com­mu­nity Com­pany’s Walled Gar­den Ac­tion Group. A full-time gar­dener and part time com­mu­nity en­gage­ment of­fi­cer will be re­cruited to work along­side vol­un­teers. The fund­ing will en­able the com­mu­nity to choose lo­cally-grown sea­sonal pro­duce which both Raasay Com­mu­nity Stores and the new dis­tillery have agreed to buy.

The group said it is ‘de­lighted’ with the grant as it al­lows it to start get­ting the gar­den, which has been ne­glected for years, back to its for­mer glory, pro­duc­ing fresh fruit, veg­eta­bles and salad.

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