Ulva owner supports community buy-out

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The community of Ulva has raised more than £10,000 towards the purchase of the island.

However, the five residents will have to raise a lot more if they are to buy Ulva, which has a price tag of £4.5 million.

On Otober 9, the North West Mull Community Woodland Company was granted the right to buy. This gives them an eight-month period in which to develop a business plan and raise money.

‘We have approached Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the Scottish Land Fund (SLF) for assistance in developing our plans,’ the organisation said. ‘We have already carried out a feasibility study which is now in late draft stage.

‘The purchase price is certain to be above the normal maximum of £1 million for SLF support. Substantial additional funding will be required if we hope to convince the SLF to go beyond its normal limit. The deadline for raising the money and concluding the purchase is June 9, 2018.’

The island is owned by the Howard family, who have been the ‘privileged custodian’ of Ulva for around 70 years.

‘The decision to market the island has been made with the utmost reluctance,’ owner Jamie Howard said.

‘Difficult though that decision has been, our only wish now is that whoever the future owners/custodians turn out to be, this island will continue to be the magical and unspoiled remote Hebridean beauty it is today and that it may remain open to all who wish to visit to explore this unique treasure.

‘Jamie Howard will continue his support of this community for the near future and wishes the North West Mull Community Woodland Company well in its bid to raise the funds necessary to purchase and to develop Ulva sympathetically and sustainably.

‘Whether the ultimate custodianship of this lovely place is achieved through a private sale or through the public purse is still to be decided, but whoever it is, it is the wish of this family to hand the torch over so that Ulva continues to be cherished and valued.’

To visit the crowdfunding page, visit   www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/northwest-mull/ulvabuyout