Colonsay business units boost after £300k grant win

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).

Already a subscriber?

 

Subscribe Now

Hopes to create new business units on Colonsay have taken a step forward.

Argyll and Bute Council has secured £1.7 million of Scottish Government funding towards regeneration and employment projects on Colonsay, Islay and Lochgilphead.

The money is from the government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF).

It will help provide £746,223 for a new Port Ellen community hub on Islay; £335,000 for the Scalasaig housing and business units on Colonsay and £650,000 to the Kilmory Business Park in Lochgilphead.

The council is leading on the Kilmory Business Park plan and worked with South Islay Development (SID) and Colonsay Community Development Company (CCDC) to apply for funding on their behalf.

The CCDC project will provide business space at Scalasaig, the main settlement on the island of Colonsay. This project is run in tandem with an affordable housing scheme.

Caroline Seymour, CCDC project manager, said the funding announcement was ‘brilliant’ news.

The total cost for the Scalasaig project was £460,000 so the funding made a ‘huge contribution’ to that goal, she said.

A planning application has been submitted to site the new business units between two existing business units and the village hall. The hope is to create around half-a-dozen spaces with a combination of workshop and office space.

Caroline said people on the island had been asked to provide submissions of interest as to what the units might be used for. The CDC is also seeking support from Highlands and Islands Enterprise Agency.

Alastair Redman, councillor for the Kintyre and Islands ward, which includes Colonsay, was also delighted by the news.

Councillor Redman said: ‘Colonsay, like all of our islands, is full of opportunities which can be realised through investment in its potential. This is a winning combination for Colonsay’s economy and I’m looking forward to seeing work start in Scalasaig as soon as possible.’

At Port Ellen on Islay, the new community hub will include a social enterprise café with bakery, a community/function space, office rental space, storage rental and an office for South Islay Development Trust.

The new hub is aimied at encouraging ‘greater community engagement and collaboration’ and support future community regeneration on the island.

Councillor Robin Currie, leader of Argyll and Bute Council, said: ‘Argyll and Bute brings together much of what is best about Scotland – natural resources that drive national and international business markets, expertise that inspires innovation and people committed to achieving the prosperous future the area needs and deserves.

‘Each of the funded projects are critical to our future growth and to the needs of our communities. In a year where we have seen a huge impact on our communities and businesses, investment is vital to help the local economy recover and unlock Argyll and Bute’s potential.’

Aileen Campbell MSP, cabinet secretary for communities with the Scottish Government, said: ‘This year, more than ever, our investment into building and maintaining resilient communities is especially important.’