Funding double brightens Raasay
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.