Boost for Tobermory outdoor activity hub

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Nine communities across the Highlands and Islands are celebrating after they were awarded grants to support a wide range of projects in their local areas.

Reopening a village shop and building six affordable homes on Skye, plus developing a disused waterfront site in Tobermory, are some of the initiatives that will benefit from the grants.

The Community Capacity Grants are part of Crown Estate Scotland’s £970,000 Sustainable Communities Fund. Since its launch in 2020, a total of £600,000 has been distributed to a wide range of innovative projects across the country.

The latest successful Community Capacity projects, delivered in partnership with Foundation Scotland, include Tobermory Harbour Association on Mull, which received an award of £28,787. The first stage development of the Aros Waterfront project will see the regeneration of the disused site bordering Tobermory Bay.

Anne Fraser, general manager of Tobermory Harbour Association, said: ‘We are delighted with this award from Crown Estate Scotland. The community capacity grant will complete the feasibility work for our Aros waterfront project.

‘Tobermory Harbour Association purchased the Aros Waterfront site in August 2019 thanks to the Scottish Land Fund, with the view to developing the site on behalf of the local community.

‘The waterfront site bordering Tobermory Bay comprises of an old pier and slipway, a strip of forestry land and two disused and deteriorating buildings. We have plans to transform this site into an outdoor activity hub, creating an anchor for wider park activities and safe access points for water sport activities within Tobermory bay.’

Another beneficiary is Glendale Community Housing Trust, Skye, where £20,000 funding will enable local people to develop a plan to transform a disused complex of buildings at Borrodale School into six fuel-efficient, affordable homes in an area of severe housing shortage.

Edinbane Community Company, Skye, has also been granted £25,000 to help develop a vision to reopen the vacant village shop. The plan is to transform the site into a community-run facility, with a range of services, including food shop, toilets and campervan waste disposal.

The Edinbane Centre will seek to breathe new life into the former village shop and petrol station, which has lain vacant for nearly 20 years. Development worker, Andrew Prendegast, said: ‘The community of Edinbane is excited at the prospect of once again having basic local amenities in our village – somewhere to buy food, groceries, and access vital Post Office services.

‘We acquired the old village shop site in 2020, and this award from Crown Estate Scotland will enable us to develop our plans for a new community-owned enterprise. These key local services will underpin Edinbane’s regeneration.’

Sleat Community Trust, again on Skye, has been given £15,000, for local people to attract visitors, and generate increased economic activity, by establishing a campervan service point and cycle trail.

Community capacity grants are open to communities up to five miles from Scotland’s coastline or within five miles of Crown Estate Scotland’s four rural estates, which are planning community enterprise projects that contribute to local regeneration and sustainable development.