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Work starts next week on a £600,000 path project in Fionnphort for walking and wheeling.
As well as the path being the first section of a proposed long-distance route from Fionnphort to Craignure, which will be a key part of the Iona to St Andrews Pilgrims Way, it will also make a safe passage from the village to Creich Hall for children and adults to enjoy, away from the busy single-track roads.
The project has been spearheaded by a determined steering group of volunteers and developed in partnership with Argyll and Bute Council, Sustrans and designers Mike Hyatt Landscape Architects.
It has been funded by the Scottish Government, through Sustrans
Scotland’s Places for Everyone, with matched funding coming from Bord na Gaidhlig and support through active travel projects delivered by Argyll and Bute Council and Mull and Iona Community Trust who got the funding.
Chairman of the Fionnphort Path Steering Group Iain MacDougall said: ‘This is a much needed and wonderful new community asset, set in our beautiful landscape beside Loch Pottie. Many people worked hard together to make this a success including the funders, the landowners, the designers,
the Community Trust, the professional team, the contractors and our steering group.
‘I take enormous pride in what our local band of people have achieved, going the extra mile to create a safe passage from the village to our hall, for our children and adults to enjoy.’
Fraser McKenzie, a parent member of the steering group, said: ‘Our busy single-track roads make walking and cycling with our children very unsafe. The creation of our path, which is set in moorland well back from the road, opens up the countryside as an accessible park for us. Our children will love using the path to get to and from the village and to visit their friends.’
Moray Finch, of Mull and Iona Community Trust, added: ‘Plans for the path began six years ago based on the Ross of Mull Community Development Plan. In spite of setbacks over funding, the local steering group refused to lose sight of their goal and redoubled their efforts. This success
demonstrates what a united local community can achieve in today’s challenging circumstances.’
Aileen Morton, leader of Argyll and Bute Council and Policy Lead for Economic Development, said: ‘We are committed to promoting active lifestyles and healthy living, and I’m sure this pathway in
Fionnphort will encourage more local people to get active and attract even more visitors to enjoy all that Mull has to offer. I’d like to thank and congratulate the community for their efforts in bringing
this project to life.’