District news 30.01.20

Councillor Donnie MacMillan cuts the ribbon to open ACHA’s new homes in Kilmartin, assisted by new tenant Mr John Munro and ACHA’s Chairman Jim Milne.

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An application to renew planning permission for a proposed development of houses and retail units on the shore of Loch Long has been approved.

The Arrochar Hotel initially received planning permission from the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority in July 2016.

The statutory three-year period for work to begin on the project has now expired, but the park authority’s officials have approved an application to renew the previous permission.

A total of 18 accommodation units, with between one and four bedrooms, are part of the plans along with a 350 square metre retail complex.

Figures, though, are estimated, as the number of units and amount of floor space has yet to be finalised.


Inveraray Primary School has earned a glowing report from education inspectors, with staff having acted swiftly upon recommendations for improvement.

Education Scotland made a follow-up visit to the school recently, having initially visited in October 2018.

The inspector’s findings have now been published and it has been confirmed that no further visits will take place in the foreseeable future.

The report also states that parents have been very positive about the future for the school, and that new head teacher Jay Helbert had made a positive difference since arriving in June 2019.

The report continued: ‘Children are now engaging well in their school community and levels of pupil participation have increased.

‘School committees and action groups provide children with worthwhile opportunities to shape the life of their school while school leaders and staff have worked hard to extend the range of involvement children have within their community.’

The inspector also remarked that pupils who found it a challenge to learn and participate in class are now settled and coping well with learning.


Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life is returning to Islay! Race for Life happens throughout the UK giving give people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities the chance to come together and show cancer who’s boss. They’re not races, or runs, and everyone wins the Race for Life (except cancer).

The Islay 5k will take place on Saturday March 28 along the three distilleries path in Port Ellen, And, although not an official Race for Life, the run is recognised by Cancer Research UK and they are providing support and advice – and most importantly medals.

At just over three miles, the course is the perfect distance for families and people who haven’t exercised much recently. The run should take about an hour to complete but there is absolutely no pressure to finish in a certain time.

There are two Jog Scotland groups on Islay if you would like some extra support and encouragement during your training. Jim Lutomski’s group runs from Port Ellen on a Tuesday evening at 5.30pm and you will find the Bumblers assembling at 9.15am on a Saturday morning at Bridgend woods car park.

Anyone who wants to get involved – help with organisation, run or walk 5k, act as steward, first aider or enter a works team – please look out for the Islay 5K Facebook page or contact Kate Skinner on 01496 860296.

Councillor Donnie MacMillan cuts the ribbon to open ACHA’s new homes in Kilmartin, assisted by new tenant John Munro and ACHA chairman Jim Milne.

Argyll Community Housing Association has completed its first new build
development in Kilmartin.

The official opening was carried out by Mid Argyll Councillor Donnie MacMillan BEM, who is thought to be Scotland’s oldest serving councillor at 92.

The association, prior to building these four homes, only had one property for rent in the village. The development, in terms of design and mix, is semi-detached/terraced and all properties are two-bedroomed.

The total cost of the project was £671,898, including the land acquisition with funding for the development coming from a  three-way partnership involving the Scottish Government, Argyll and Bute Council and ACHA.

The construction period lasted exactly one year and the properties were built by MacLeod Construction of Lochgilphead.

Alastair MacGregor, ACHA’s chief executive, commented: ‘ACHA is committed to meeting housing need in small villages in rural Argyll.

‘It is absolutely vital that affordable housing for rent is available in villages like Kilmartin and this handover today follows on from similar projects in Tarbert, Connel, Arinagour and Inveraray.’

Councillor MacMillan added: ‘I am delighted with the progress ACHA has made over the years in building so many houses for so many housing needs.’


Highlands and Islands Connections are running a free Learning and Sharing event on Wednesday February 5.

The event will take place in Craignure Village Hall and offers an opportunity for organisations to learn and share throughout the Isle of Mull. Refreshments will be provided.

On Thursday February 6, there will be a networking and connecting opportunity for organisations and the public at the same venue.

This is an informal event that organisations can book a stall space to            network and also promote activities to the public. Stalls are free and so is    tea, coffee and cake.

Contact fthompson@supportinmindscotland.org.uk for more information or to book a place at either event.


Friday night is social night at Oban Bowling Club and this week, January 31, it’s quiz night with OBC’s very own Alec (BT) Carmichael in the quizmaster’s chair.

Members are invited to take along friends and family, with teams of up to four people being encouraged to go along and enjoy themselves.

Friday February 21 is curry night, while the venue is also open on other Friday nights when dominoes, bowls or just a simple chat and a few refreshments are the options.

Why not go along and enjoy the social side of the club?