Want to read more?
At the start of the pandemic in March we took the decision to make online access to our news free of charge by taking down our paywall. At a time where accurate information about Covid-19 was vital to our community, this was the right decision – even though it meant a drop in our income. In order to help safeguard the future of our journalism, the time has now come to reinstate our paywall, However, rest assured that access to all Covid related news will still remain free.
To access all other news will require a subscription, as it did pre-pandemic. The good news is that for the whole of December we will be running a special discounted offer to get 3 months access for the price of one month. Thank you for supporting us during this incredibly challenging time.
We value our content and access to our full site is only available with a subscription. Your subscription entitles you to 7-day-a-week access to our website, plus a full digital copy of that week’s paper to read on your pc/mac or mobile device. In addition, your subscription includes access to digital archive copies from 2006 onwards.
Just want to read one issue? No problem you can subscribe for just one week (or longer if you wish).
A new tourist attraction on the Isle of Skye marking mountaineering history is set to be created after a local community heritage group successfully reached its £117,000 target.
A bronze sculpture will now be commissioned and erected at Sligachan, against the backdrop of the Cuillin Mountains, paying tribute to two renowned mountaineering figures – Professor Norman Collie and John Mackenzie.
Credited with creating many of the routes across the Cuillin range, the pair are held locally as pioneers.
John Mackenzie was from the crofting village of Sconser and began climbing the Cuillin range at the age of 10 and went on to become the first native Scot to become a professional mountain guide.
Mackenzie met Professor Collie, an internationally renowned scientist and mountain expert, on Skye – and the pair formed a climbing partnership and friendship that spanned more than half a century.
The heritage group has already successfully raised £200,000 to complete the first stage of the project, which included the formation of a 21-space car park, information panels, stone seating and the removal of an unsightly overhead power system.
Now that the second fundraising target has been met, the group is planning a Skye celebration of the Cuillins later this year to mark the unveiling of the new sculpture.
Morag Nicolson, who chairs the Collie and Mackenzie Heritage Group, said: ‘We are so pleased to be able to share this news with everyone that has supported and encouraged us over the past 16 years.
‘Our funding target has been reached, and we cannot thank every one enough for their donations towards this project.
‘We are now making plans for the unveiling of this iconic Bronze sculpture at Sligachan in September.’
MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch Kate Forbes said: ‘This is an incredible feat of fundraising. It is amazing to see that the Collie and Mackenzie Heritage Group has finally fundraised its target to build a monument.
‘The project team has never given up, even when the fundraising target seemed far beyond its reach.
‘Their persistence has paid off, finally, and this monument will be erected in honour of Professor Norman Collie and John Mackenzie.’
Skye councillor John Finlayson added: ‘Members of the steering group should be congratulated on their dogged determination to get to this stage and I really appreciate the opportunity I had to be involved in the project at an early stage when I was a head teacher and also to be able to support the group in more recent times.
‘I am sure, just like me, all those who have so kindly supported the group over the years cannot wait to see the impressive sculpture in place.’
The group wishes to thanks everyone who contributed, and specifically MOWI, the Struan Community Trust, Suez Communities Trust, EB (Environmental Body) Scotland and the Scottish Landfill Communities Fund. More than 80 per cent of the money came from private donations.