News Archive

13th April 2012

5th Anniversary Community Celebrations

Sealladh na Beinne Mòire celebrated the 5th anniversary of the Community Buy-out of South Uist Estates in December 2011. We had hoped to hold a Community celebration in December, which unfortunately had to be delayed due to bad weather. We have now rescheduled the celebrations for Saturday 21st April.

We will start the celebrations with a family ceilidh at 7.30pm in Talla an Iochdair, followed by a raffle, bonfire and short firework display at 9pm. Celebrations will then continue in the hall with a dance with John Alick MacKay & friends until the small hours of the morning!

After five years of hard work, commitment and support from the community, the company is now reaching a critical stage, where projects are being delivered and new projects are being considered.

We would therefore like to invite you to dust off your dancing shoes and join us in celebrating the successes of the past five years and the many prosperous years to come.

See poster below;

5th Anniversary Celebrations – April 21st 2012

***Raffle prizes include £150 John Lewis voucher, £25 Marks & Spencers voucher, a day’s stalking, a day’s fishing, a year’s subscription to Askernish Golf Club, shellfish hamper, voucher for hot smoked salmon and a bottle of champagne with chocolates to name but a few!***

Raffle tickets can be purchased at the door on the night. Entry is free!

4th April 2012

Final Funding for Lochboisdale Regeneration Project Secured

Stòras Uibhist is delighted to share with our members the announcement that the Big Lottery Fund has awarded £996,000 from its Growing Community Assets fund towards the Lochboisdale Regeneration project.

This now means that the project has a completed funding package for the estimated £9.6million costs to build the roads, causeways, fisheries pier, pontoons and breakwaters and the project will now go ahead. Funding has previously been secured from HIE at £5 million, ERDF at £1.8million and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar have committed a grant of £625,000. A further grant from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has been approved in principle of up to £1million pounds. This grant comes with a condition to pay the Comhairle an agreed revenue over 10 years.

The procurement process has already started and invitations to tender will be issued in June for an October site start date. The build phase of the project will take around 18 months to complete.

Full planning consent has been granted and the final design is in the process of being drawn up by Fairhurst engineers, in anticipation of the tender process.

We are delighted that we have reached this stage and are looking forward to working with our partners and the local community to achieve the full benefits of the project.

Angus MacMillan, Chairman of Storas Uibhist said “We welcome this announcement from the Big Lottery fund and for their support in realising the Lochboisdale Regeneration project.

The project reflects what can be achieved by community ownership, and Storas Uibhist are delighted that we can commence with construction of the development in 2012. We thank Big Lottery Fund for their support at this time and in the South Uist Estate community purchase, which led us to this significant milestone.

The investment made today by BLF reflects the strategic importance of the project, to the community of Lochboisdale and the wider Uist population in developing a long term strategy for economic regeneration for decades to come. We consider that this further underlines the importance of Lochboisdale as a Port of Entry and the need for a direct Lochboisdale – Mallaig link.”

We welcome everyone to our 5th Anniversary celebrations on 21st April in Talla an Iochdar from 7.30pm, please come along and help us celebrate.

26th March 2012

Scotland’s Islands Activity Weekend – South Uist, 30th & 31st March 2012

Looking for something to do this weekend? Why not visit South Uist and take part in the ‘Old Tom Morris’ tournament at Askernish Golf Club? If golf isn’t your thing choose from Photography, an Archaeology Trail, Boat Trip or Fishing Talk.

Participants can also attend the Local Food Buffet at Grogarry Lodge on Friday evening and there will be a golf tournament prizegiving in the Borrodale Hotel at 9pm on the Saturday evening followed by lively ceilidh with Angus Nicolson and Coll MacDonald!

Visit www.storasuibhist.com/scotlandsislands for more information.

To book your place please contact Deirdre MacEachen by email or on 01878 708003

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The Missing Link Campaign group have today expressed their disappointment that the Scottish Government has failed to offer any new telling contribution to the issue during this morning’s debate at Holyrood.

The Missing Link group also roundly rejected the assertion by the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Secretary Alex Neil that a new service would require a capital investment spend of £26million. There is, they say, already a vessel available from within the existing Cal-Mac fleet.

Lochboisdale Community Council chairman Ronnie MacKinnon: “Alex Neil is completely wrong to say that the Government would need to find £26million for a new vessel. They don’t need a new vessel – there is already a spare vessel in the Cal-Mac fleet. The MV Isle of Arran has been sitting idle, docked at Campbeltown for the last fortnight doing nothing. She could easily be deployed on the Lochboisdale Mallaig route at no extra cost.”

Mr MacKinnon also noted Alex Neil’s offer to meet with the Missing Link group “After numerous written requests a Government minister has finally agreed to meet us. Whilst we welcome the chance to meet with him, we’re disappointed that it won’t happen until after the consultation period has ended. Perhaps now Transport Minister Keith Brown will also agree to meet us – preferably before the consultation deadline expires at the end of the month.”

Group member and Storas Uibhist chairman, Angus MacMillan also questioned Alex Neil’s claims about cost implications and said that the strong economic benefits from a new link would far outweigh concerns about running costs. ‘The new service that we’re proposing would, as well as being of great benefit to South Uist, also strongly complement the other services running to and from North Uist and Barra and would lead to a much needed improvement in the ferry service network for all the island groups including the Inner Isles.”

Mr MacMillan went on to stress the problems currently being encountered in the Uists because of poor ferry services and explained how these problems could be alieviated through a new link. “The service between Lochmaddy and Skye is often over subscribed, not just in the Summer months, but throughout the year. We saw recently how one Uist based businessman lost £120,000 of work because of poor ferry links. This is completely unacceptable,and shows how the Uist economy is being strangled by inadequate ferry links and why there has to be an improvement. A daily ferry link to Mallaig would do two things – it would ease the pressure on the Lochmaddy Skye route and it would also offer further valuable and more versatile travel options to the people of Barra who could also use easily access this service through the Ardmore to Eriskay link – thus giving them also further valuable and more versatile travel opportunities.”

Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan was also criticised for failing to give the Missing Link campaign his full backing. Angus MacMillan again: ‘Alasdair Allan has demonstrated again today, that he has absolutely no understanding of the need for a new link. Our campaign is about gaining a new service between Mallaig and Lochboisdale. It is a pro South Uist campaign not anti any other community and would lead to a WIN-WIN situation for all the communities of the Southern Isles. Indeed if Mr Allan was to look at the minutes from the last WIIC Transportation Committee meeting he would see that, and I quote: ‘The community of Barra wish to record their support for South Uist should they wish to pursue a service from Lochboisdale to Mallaig’. If Barra fully supports our campaign why on earth can’t he? He has consistently failed to back our campaign and to say we were disappointed with his contribution to today’s debate is a huge understatement. He has to do better than that!”
22nd March 2012

Lochcarnan Community Windfarm Turf Cutting

Monday 19th March will go down as a historic day for Stòras Uibhist, as R J McLeod began construction of the access roads for the 6.9MW windfarm at Loch Carnan. The turbines will be installed later in the year, with Enercon currently arranging the logistics to bring the turbines to site in August. This represents the culmination of a great deal of hard work by the staff and Directors to bring this project to life in the five years since the largest community land purchase in Scotland. The project will transform the islands of South Uist, Benbecula and Eriskay as the windfarm revenues are reinvested by the company to support the economic and social regeneration of the community.

At a turf cutting ceremony Pupils from Iochdar primary schools’ eco committee and pupil council , along with representatives of Iochdar Hill Common Grazing Committee, Iochdar crofters and township residents followed a local piper to the start point of the access track to the windfarm site, where they were greeted by the brand new MacAulay Askernish 22 tonne machine that will start the road building this week. RJ MacLeod, the principle contractors, will hire machinery and services locally from MacAulay Askernish, MacAskills Drimore and others.
Peggy Campbell, Township clerk at the time of the township negotiations said “The township have been very supportive of this project and look forward to the benefit of the project being returned to the community.”

The windfarm development, a priority project of the community buyout, has been supported all the way by the SnBM members, local residents and in particular the Iochdar shareholders who signed consent to enable the project to proceed. Mary MacInnes, Head Teacher at Iochdar school said “ Cutting the first sod at Loch Carnan was a significant moment for our pupils and their teacher! Developing links with the business community is very much on the Education agenda and youngsters cannot start too early to think of their own career paths. We look forward to participation in the project as it develops as we have the advantage of proximity to Lochcarnan to make regular visits. The presence of a piper reminds us all of the central role our culture has in all aspects of South Uist life.”

Speaking at the turf-cutting ceremony on a windy Iochdar Hill Common, Angus MacMillan, Chairman of Stòras Uibhist said, ‘This project is one step in the process of transforming the economy of these islands and building a future for the children of this community. For too long we have seen our young people leave these islands because there are few educational opportunities and jobs. The revenue from these turbines will allow this community to shape its own future and provide match funding for a wide range of projects that have previously not been able to happen because of a lack of resources.’

Huw Francis, Chief Executive of Stòras Uibhist added, ‘A consultation process has already started to identify how the community wants to see the revenue from this project invested to realise the aspirations and ambitions of the residents of these islands. This process will seek to prioritise projects and identify how best they can be delivered, either by Stòras Uibhist, or in partnership with other organisations.’

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VACANT CROFT at 230 Stoneybridge:

This croft has been declared vacant by the Crofters Commission and South Uist Estates are in the process
of finding a suitable tenant.

Croft details:

4.830 Ha Arable
1.820 Ha Outrun
4.62 Ha Apportionment
Annual rent: £45

Full share in common apportioned—no grazing shares remain with the croft.

It is the intention of South Uist Estate to de-croft the existing house to remove any potential liability to the incoming tenant to pay the previous tenant compensation for the improvement to the croft.

If you would be interested in applying for the tenancy then application forms can be obtained from Amanda MacMillan at Oifis Stòras, telephone no. 01878 708 001 or contact amanda.macmillan@storasuibhist.com .

Closing date for applications is: 31st March 2012.

13th March 2012

SOUTH UIST FERRY CAMPAIGN LOBBIES SNP CONFERENCE

Over 50 demonstrators from South Uist, Benbecula and Eriskay gathered outside the SECC on Saturday to give their backing to the campaign for the restoration of a direct ferry service between Lochboisdale and Mallaig.

The ‘Missing Link’ campaign is being driven by the four community councils on South Uist with support from the community landowner Storas Uibhist. They are demanding that the re-introduction of the Lochboisdale-Mallaig route be included in the Scottish Government’s Draft Ferries Plan, insisting that a daily ferry service is crucial to the islands’ future.

Protest organiser, Josie Burgess said: ‘Far from providing a ‘lifeline’ service to and from South Uist, the Scottish Government, through the frequency, timing and sheer length of the crossing to Lochboisdale, seem to be doing all they can to make it as difficult as possible for people to travel home to South Uist.

‘It is currently, for example, impossible for us to travel home for a weekend visit. Over a weekend that would involve a return journey time between Glasgow and Lochboisdale of over twenty hours – that’s almost a whole day spent travelling – just to get home for the weekend!’

She continued: ‘That’s why we are giving our full support to the Missing Link Ferry Campaign – we certainly made this point clear to the SNP delegates in Glasgow. Most of those we spoke to, including education secretary Mike Russell, said that they fully supported our campaign. We now hope that the Government grasps the importance of this to South Uist and now include the re-introduction of a daily service between Lochboisdale and Mallaig in the Ferries Review.’

Missing Link Group member Deirdre MacEachen welcomed the support shown by fellow islanders: ‘This is a very welcome contribution from our fellow islanders. Often these students and others are prevented visiting Uist because of inadequate and lengthy ferry links. The kind of travel problems that they are highlighting perfectly demonstrate why the Lochboisdale Mallaig service is so urgently required.’

1st March 2012

Stòras Uibhist is delighted to announce that Financial Close has been achieved for the Lochcarnan Community Wind Farm project and funds have been released to allow construction of the project to commence.

Please see below the press release issued this afternoon:

Stòras Uibhist Launches Largest Community Owned Windfarm in Scotland

2012 will see the largest wholly community owned windfarm in Scotland being built on South Uist in the Western Isles of Scotland.

Revenue from the windfarm over the next twenty years will see in excess of £20m being pumped into the local economy to regenerate one of the most economically fragile areas of the UK.

It is five years since the residents of Benbecula, Eriskay and South Uist took control of the South Uist Estate, in the largest community buyout in Scotland, and began working towards the economic and social regeneration of the islands.

£1m of grant and loan funding from Social Investment Scotland and £2.4m from the European Regional Development Fund will compliment £8m of finance from Co-op Bank for the construction of this three turbine project. With the release of these funds, work will now commence on construction.

HIE and BIG Lottery have provided grant support to the company during the development of this project and Community Energy Scotland has provided both grant and technical support.

Angus MacMillan, Chairman of Stòras Uibhist said, ‘This project has always been about generating income to re-invest into the local community for the benefit of the 3000 people who live on the islands of Eriskay, Benbecula and South Uist. It has been a long and sometimes difficult path that has lead to this point. However, we are now looking to the future when Storas Uibhist, in partnership with other local organisations, can make best use of this revenue and the people of this Estate can take their future in their own hands and transform these islands into a vibrant and growing place to live and work. This could only have happened with community ownership and demonstrates that when communities can manage their own assets they are able to transform their futures.’

Huw Francis, Chief Executive of Stòras Uibhist added, ‘The realisation of this project will transform these islands and generate significant income for re-investment over the next 20 years. The construction of Scotlands’ largest wholly community owned windfarm has been made possible by the dedication of the staff at Stòras Uibhist and with the support of Iochdar Hill Common Grazing Committee, HIE, BIG Lottery and Community Energy Scotland.’

John Puddephatt of Co-op Bank said, ‘The Co-operative Bank are very pleased to be associated with Scotland’s largest community owned wind farm. The bank will continue to support the development of onshore wind energy projects, particularly where there is community involvement. We look forward to seeing the project becoming operational and benefitting the local community for many years to come’

21st February2012

The Scottish Government draft ferries review makes no provision for a ferry service between Lochboisdale-Mallaig citing that there is little or no support/demand for such a service. This is despite the overwhelming support for the service demonstrated at the consultation held in The Southend Community Hall and a 1500 name petition sent into the Scottish Government in support of the service –

We need your support!!

Individuals are urged to immediately write to Colin Grieve, Transport Scotland, Ferries Unit, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh EH6 6QQ, or colin.grieve@transportscotland.gsi.gov.uk, stating their support for the introduction of the Lochboisdale-Mallaig ferry service.

A Template Letter is provided for those wishing to lend their support to the campaign.

15th February 2012

Alex Neil and Keith Brown too busy to hear community concerns on Ferries Review

For the third time in six months Cabinet Secretary Alex Neil has found an excuse not to meet with Stòras Uibhist to discuss the Lochboisdale-Mallaig Ferry and the Ferries Review, claiming he has a ‘heavily committed diary’. This also, apparently, extends to Keith Brown his Minister for Transport.

Last week it was Keith Brown who excluded South Uist community representatives from a meeting to discuss the removal of RET from commercial vehicles.

Stòras Uibhist, in conjunction with four community councils, is holding a public meeting on February 24th at 7:30pm in Daliburgh South End Hall to demonstrate the strength of feeling within the community for the re-introduction of the Lochboisdale-Mallaig ferry service.

The meeting will be attended by the constituency and regional list MSPs and Stòras Uibhist had hoped to speak with the Minister before the meeting to report to the community the Ministers view on ferry service provision to the Uists.

A meeting with the Minister is considered especially important as it has become clearly apparent that the views of the community have not been passed to Scottish Government by the Comhairle and other elected politicians following the previous consultation organised by the CNES Transportation Committee and the 1500 name petition in support of the service compiled last year.

Kate MacDonald, from Bornish Community Council, added, ‘The refusal of the Minister to meet with Stòras Uibhist and other representatives of the community is deeply disappointing. We ask that all members of the community demonstrate their support for the Lochboisdale-Mallaig service by attending the meeting, or writing directly to Alex Neil.’

George MacAulay, of Benbecula Community Council said, ‘The Minister thinks he can ignore the people of these islands. The ferries review is proposing that services to the Uists are reduced and the ferry operator be allowed to discourage demand because the ferries are too busy. We cannot let him get away with this, or the economy of these islands and the population will continue their dramatic decline.’

Angus MacMillan, Chairman of Stòras Uibhist said, ‘Our elected ministers claim to be too busy to listen to us when we want to speak with them directly, while consultants and civil servants put together documents with spurious statistics and suspect analysis to convince them we do not want a ferry service at all. We cannot allow Ministers in Edinburgh to ignore the community if we want our heritage and way of life to survive. Only a strong demonstration from this community at the public meeting and through letters to the Minister will Benbecula, South Uist and Eriskay retain any ferry service at all, let alone secure the much-needed service to Mallaig. We call upon this community to stand together and demonstrate to Alex Neil that this is a community he cannot ignore.’

14th February 2012

Grogarry Lodge Weekly Lets

The Lodge currently have the following weeks available for 2012.

Week commencing 7th July. This week is primarily a fishing week with 5 boats on a mix of our renowned brown trout and salmon & sea trout lochs, Monday to Friday. The Lodge is fully catered, with a cook and housekeeping staff. Collection from the airport can also be arranged if required. This week would be priced at £6000 +VAT and would be for a maximum of 16 guests, £450 per person for the week at full capacity.

Week commencing 15th September. This week would include 4 boats on our renowned Salmon & Sea Trout Lochs from Monday to Friday and Morning and evening flighting for geese. The Lodge is fully catered, with a cook and housekeeping staff. Collection from the airport can also be arranged if required. This week would be priced at £8000 +VAT and would be for a maximum of 16 guests, £600 per person at full capacity.

We are now introducing golf packages, to play at the unique Old Tom Morris course at Askernish. This package would include 7 nights accommodation at the exclusive, fully catered and staffed Lodge and 6 days unlimited golf at Askernish Golf Course. This package would be priced at £5500 & VAT for up to 16 guests, which is as little as £412.50 per person for the week.

Short golf breaks are also available for 3 nights accommodation and 3 days unlimited golf for the whole party. This package would be priced at £3000 +VAT.

We currently have the following weeks available with the option of golf packages:

Week commencing 16th June 2012
Week commencing 23rd June 2012
Week commencing 30th June 2012
Week commencing 7th July 2012
Week commencing 1st Sep 2012
Week commencing 15th Sep 2012

For more information on the Lodge, fishing in South Uist or Askernish Golf Course, please visit www.grogarrylodge.com www.southuistfishing.com www.askernishgolfclub.com or contact Jennifer at jennifer.macleod@storasuibhist.com

13th January 2012

The Draft Ferries Plan (for consultation) was issued by the Scottish Government shortly before Christmas last year. Disappointingly, it bears no commitment to the re-introduction of the Lochboisdale-Mallaig ferry service which is so urgently sought by the South Uist community and beyond.

The Ferries Review makes no reference to the 1500 name petition submitted to the Scottish Government in August 2011 in support of the service. Neither does it refer to the Comhairle’s public consultation meetings held in Barra, South Uist and North Uist, which all highlighted the support for the re-introduction of the service for the benefit of South Uist and the Western Isles as a whole.

Stòras Uibhist will continue to lobby for improvements to the ferry service and transport links in general, and has made a further submission (9th January ’12) to the Scottish Government Public Petitions committee.

The Ferries Review also recommended changes to RET for commercial vehicles and replacement of RET with bulk discounts for the larger vehicles. This will seriously impact on the Uist based companies who will not qualify for the bulk discounts and will affect the cost of goods, including feed, hay and other supplies for crofters coming in to the island, as well as the cost of transporting shellfish off the islands by ferry.

Stòras Uibhist will work with local businesses, and has also spoken with Councillors from Highland Council, to support a combined campaign to press Scottish Government to improve ferry services and support the economy of both the islands and the west coast of the mainland.

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Proposed Sound of Barra SAC

Following consultation with local fishermen, who are concerned about the impact of the proposed SAC on the activities of fishermen operating from Kallin to Eriskay, Stòras Uibhist made a submission in December to the SNH consultation on the proposed Sound of Barra SAC.

12th December 2011

Croft Rents

Croft Rent Surgeries will be held across the Estate area this week as follows;

Tuesday 13th December Eriskay Hall 8.30am – 11.00am
Tuesday 13th December Oifis Stòras, Daliburgh 4.30pm – 6.30pm
Wednesday 14th December Balivanich Hall 8.30am – 11.00am
Thursday 15th December Talla an Iochdar 4.30pm – 6.30pm

We encourage as many tenants as possible to complete the Standing Order forms sent out with the rent invoices. This will enable us to collect future payments via BACS.

30th November 2011

5 Year Anniversary Celebrations

Unfortunately due to the bad weather forecast for this Saturday (3rd December), the planned Community Celebrations for the 5th anniversary of the buy-out will be postponed.

We hope to hold the event in the near future and will advertise as soon as we have confirmed an alternative date.

23rd November 2011

Public Consultation – Lochboisdale Regeneration Project

A reminder there will be a public meeting for the Lochboisdale Regeneration Project at Gerinish Taigh Ceilidh tomorrow night (Thursday 24th November) at 7.30pm.

This is an opportunity for community members outwith the Lochboisdale area to come and discuss the project and hear an update on the current developments.

We look forward to seeing you there.

5th Anniversary Celebrations Poster

Celebration Poster

16th November 2011

The October 2011 Board Meeting Minute is now available in the Member’s Section – www.storasuibhist.com/members/board-meetings/2011-minutes

14th November 2011

5 Year Anniversary Celebration

To mark the 5th Anniversary of the community buyout of the South Uist Estate, there will be a community celebration on Saturday 3rd December 2011.

Celebrations will begin with a turf-cutting ceremony at 2pm at the site for the Lochcarnan access track.

From 5pm there will be a bonfire, fireworks and barbecue at Talla an Iochdar followed by a ceilidh dance in the hall from 7pm.

This event is open to all members of the community.

We look forward to seeing you there!

“5 years on…..the next 5 years?”

What can Stòras Uibhist do for you?

A series of community events will be held across the Estate area during November where we urge SnBM members and the wider community to come along to discuss ideas for future developments and what the priorities for the next 5 years should include.

Saturday 12th November St Peter’s Hall 1pm – 3pm
Monday 14th November Dark Island Hotel 7.30pm
Saturday 26th November Grogarry Lodge 1pm – 3pm
Tuesday 29th November Eriskay Hall 7.30pm

We look forward to seeing you there and hearing what your views and priorities are.

This event is open to all members of the community.

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We will also be hosting a Lochboisdale project meeting on Thursday 24th November in Gerinish Taigh Ceilidh at 7.30pm. This will be an opportunity for you to discuss the project and hear an update on the current developments.

4th November 2011

Coast Hebrides will be holding a public meeting on Wednesday 23rd November in Talla an Iochdar to present the results of the South Ford Hydrodynamic Study.

This is a public consultation event and there will be the opportunity to ask questions and make comments about the Study.

2nd November 2011

Croft Rents

Croft rent invoices will be sent out this month and all croft tenants should receive them during week commencing 21st November.

Croft Rent Surgeries will be held across the Estate area in December as follows;

Tuesday 13th December Eriskay Hall 8.30am – 11.00am
Tuesday 13th December Oifis Stòras, Daliburgh 4.30pm – 6.30pm
Wednesday 14th December Balivanich Hall 8.30am – 11.00am
Thursday 15th December Talla an Iochdar 4.30pm – 6.30pm

We will be sending Standing Order forms with the invoices this year and would encourage people to complete these forms to enable us to collect future payments via BACS.

28th October 2011

Lochcarnan Community Windfarm Resumption Order Granted

Today, the Scottish Land Court has issued the necessary resumption order required to allow the construction of the Lochcarnan Community Windfarm. This was achieved with direct support from 94% of the Iochdar Hill Common Grazing Shareholders.

Stòras Uibhist would like to take this opportunity to thank the Shareholders and Grazing Committee for their active support.

This marks a major milestone in the progression of this hugely important project that will deliver substantial revenue for reinvestment in the Islands of Benbecula, Eriskay and South Uist.

20th October 2011

Stòras Uibhist secure detailed planning consent for £10m Lochboisdale Regeneration Project

At a full Council meeting on Thursday 13th October, CnES granted full planning consent for the £10m first stage of the Lochboisdale Regeneration project.

The project will be led by Stòras Uibhist in partnership with HIE and CnES. HIE has approved funding of over £5m, CnES £625k and a further £1.9m will come from ERDF. An application for £960k to the BIG Lottery Growing Community Assets fund has progressed to Stage 2 and the final £1m of necessary funding is being sought from other sources.

WA Fairhurst has been commissioned to complete ground investigation work and detailed designs for the causeways, breakwaters, fishery pier and marina that will be constructed by 2014. Raeburn Drilling, supported by MacAulay Askernish, will begin the ground investigation work on Gasaigh Island & Rhubha Bhuailte on October 17th. This will bring total spend so far close to £1m and allow the project to be put out to tender early in 2012.

A public meeting will be held during November to inform members of the community of the latest progress and begin the process of identifying the options for the next stages of the Lochboisdale Regeneration.

Angus MacMillan said, ‘This project, which was first discussed more than ten years ago, will revitalise Lochboisdale to be the thriving hub of South Uist that it once was. The new fishery pier will provide safer and expanded facilities for local fishermen, there will be first class facilities for visiting leisure sailors and the project will help improve the amenity value of the existing Lochboisdale village. With access to Rhubha Bhuailte and Gasaigh, there will be significant opportunities to attract new businesses to the area.’

Huw Francis added, ‘Securing planning consent is a major milestone that reflects the hard work of the staff at Stòras Uibhist and the important partnership of the community company with HIE and CNES to deliver the aspirations of the community buyout in 2006. An Economic Impact Assessment of the project has estimated that the construction phase of the project will create 32 jobs and close to 100 long-term jobs in South Uist and Eriskay.’

14th October 2011

The minutes of the meeting of the Grazings Clerks held on wednesday 27th September are now available to view at www.storasuibhist.com/crofting/grazings-clerk-meetings

13th October 2011

CONSERVING SCOTTISH MACHAIR LIFE+
PUBLIC MEETING

Thursday October 27th at 7-10pm at the Dark Island Hotel

This will be an opportunity to give and receive feedback on the project’s work across the Uists and to discuss with crofters and other members of the public how the project is progressing. The project would particularly like your ideas on three key issues:

• Seaweed Spreading 2011 – working with Townships
• Machinery: current project capacity, new machinery and post-project legacy
• Crop Protection Scheme

7th October 2011

5 Year Anniversary of the Community Buyout

As the 5th Anniversary of the Community buy-out draws near, we are hoping to hold a Community Celebration in early December. We will soon announce a firm date and details and hope that the community will join us to celebrate the successes of the last five years and what the future holds for the community.

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Daliburgh School Pupils Visit

This afternoon we enjoyed a visit from the Primary 4 & 5 pupils from Daliburgh School. The pupils came to meet with the Crofting Department and ask numerous questions to help them with their research for the school’s crofting project. They got to see many of the various maps and information used in the office to deal with crofting enquiries. The pupils were intrigued to learn how many crofts there are on the Estate area.

Afterwards they had the opportunity to have a tour of the office, meet the other office staff and hear about the main projects being carried out by Stòras Uibhist at present.

29th September 2011

Lochboisdale Regeneration Project

WA Fairhurst and partners have now been instructed to undertake the final design for the Lochboisdale regeneration phase 1 project which includes roads, causeways, a slipway, fisheries quay and pontoons for fishing and yacht berthing. In the first instance Fairhurst will be reviewing the extensive modelling work that has been undertaken including wave modelling, seabed investigation and use this to refine the layout and further detail the total project costs.

We will be working closely with Fairhurst to finalise the design, paying particular attention to layouts of breakwaters, berthing faces, wave climates, visual impact and many more aspects to further enhance the design. We will be meeting with users and interested parties again over the coming months to ensure we take into account the views of users in finalising the design. This work, funded by CnES, HIE and ERDF, and should take around seven months to complete. Fairhurst will then prepare invitations to tender and work with Storas Uibhist in selecting the eventual contractor, which is anticipated to happen in June 2012.

In the first instance, Raeburn Drilling and Geotechnical Ltd have been employed by Fairhurst to undertake a ground investigation of Gasaigh and Rubha Bhuailte to assess the quality of the rock for design and costing purposes. Raeburn will commence on site on week commencing 17th October 2011. As you might imagine getting drilling equipment onto Gasaigh is a difficult task and Macaulay Askernish will be working with Raeburn, providing a landing craft and supplying plant as required to form access routes on the island. Aspect Marine will be undertaking further seabed investigation, particularly around the proposed causeway and fisheries pier, using a technique known as vibro-coring to analyse the type and thickness of seabed sediment that is present.

Meanwhile the planning application for the Lochboisdale Regeneration Project is scheduled for determination by CnES during October. A full environmental statement was completed to support the application; this is still available to view in the Storas Office in Daliburgh along with the final outline design.

Work is ongoing to secure the final funding required, including an application to the Big Lottery Fund. We will shortly be issuing a questionnaire to the community, hard copy and through survey monkey and we would gratefully appreciate all assistance in completing the questionnaires which will help us to show the level of community support for the Lochboisdale project and help towards securing the requested £960,000 from Big Lottery.

28th September 2011

Stòras Uibhist Column in Am Paipear

Stòras Uibhist will now have a monthly column in Am Paipear, providing the community with regular updates on the company’s activities.

Regular newsletters will still be available from local Post Offices and e-newsletters will continue to be sent to those who have signed up.

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Offices for Let

Oifis Stòras currently have two permanent letting offices each 5.5 m x 4.8m. These office lets come with desks for two or three people, broadband connection, individual phone lines with remotely accessible messaging service, access to kitchen facilities, cleaning, and IT.
The building is located in the heart of Daliburgh and has excellent access to local facilities and is within convenient reach of a significant proportion of the South Uist community. The site also offers ample parking facilities and is easily accessible by public transport.
For further information or to arrange a viewing, contact Jennifer MacLeod on 01878 700101 or by e-mail jennifer.macleod@storasuibhist.com

Hot_Office

Prices

Office: 3 desks, £366 per month, £4,400 per annum ex VAT
1 desk, £280 per month, £3360 per annum ex VAT

Hot office: £45 per half day (1 desk, phone line, internet)

Meeting Room – £20 per hour
£25 per hour with teas/coffees provided.

Includes: Electricity, rates, cleaning, telephone line rental, broadband connection

Additional Services:
• Meeting rooms – The board room can be hired at a reduced rate for tenants @ £15 per half day
• Telephone calls – Calls will be billed monthly on an as used basis at competitive rates
• Photocopying – Access to the photocopier and colour printer can be provided 10p per colour copy and 2p per black copy.

23rd September 2011

This past week saw six Scholarship-Awarded Greenkeepers travel to Askernish Golf Club in South Uist for the Askernish Student Sustainability Project.

The students from as far afield as China and Holland are regarded as some of the most promising students in golf, and have been awarded bursaries by the governing body of golf – The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews – to aid their education which includes a week-long study-trip to Askernish, so see the golf course which has been acclaimed as “the most natural links course in the world”.

The student visit includes lectures and workshops from some of the leading minds in the golf industry; Ecologist Dr Keith Duff, Golf Architect Martin Ebert, and Master Greenkeeper Gordon Irvine.

The week, a twice-annual event, will be held again at Askernish in April 2012.

More information about the week can be found on the Askernish Golf Club website : www.askernishgolfclub.com

2nd September 2011

Stòras Uibhist appear before Scottish Government Public Petitions Committee

In the continuing effort to secure the re-introduction of the Lochboisdale-Mallaig ferry service, Stòras Uibhist today (Tuesday) appeared before the Scottish Government Public Petitions Committee in Holyrood, to make the case for launching the service in the spring of 2012.

Accompanied by Allan Henderson, a Councillor for Highland region and Provost of Lochaber, Angus MacMillan and Huw Francis highlighted the economic and social benefits that would be delivered from the re-introduction of the service.

The submission was well received by the Committee who expressed their support for the petition, which has received strong support both online and in its paper form. The Committee agreed to refer the petition to the Minister for Transport and request information as to why the service had not yet been introduced.

Following the presentation to the committee, Angus MacMillan issued an open invitation to Alex Neil and Keith Brown, the Ministers with responsibility for ferries, to visit South Uist and experience for themselves the ferry service that the community has to use.

Huw Francis added, ‘A commitment now from the Scottish Government to re-introduce the Lochboisdale-Mallaig service in the summer of 2012 will allow the tourism sector, businesses and local residents to maximise the benefits that can be gained from this service. The inclusion of this service in the Summer 2012 CalMac timetable will be a clear signal that the Scottish Government is committed to the economic development of the Scottish Islands.’

For further information please contact Huw Francis, Oifis Stòras, Daliburgh; 01878 700101.

Croft Re-letting Policy

There is the potential that the Crofters Commission will declare some crofts on the South Uist Estate area vacant, where there has been no successor appointed to the tenancy, or as a result of the Commission’s absentee initiative.

Storas Uibhist will then be able to re-let the tenancy of the croft and has drafted a policy to do this in a way that will be of most benefit to the local community. The draft policy has been sent to every township clerk for consideration and we are also looking for further comment on the policy and suggestions on how it can be improved from the wider community.

Click here to see the Proposed croft re-letting policy

Please submit comments and suggestions on the draft policy to Amanda MacMillan – Crofting Services

2nd September 2011

Askernish Golf Weekend worth £18,000 for local economy

The last weekend in August saw the Askernish Open Golf Weekend held at the restored ‘Old’ Tom Morris golf course on South Uist in the Outer Hebrides.

This was the first year that the Askernish Open was expanded into a weekend festival of golf in South Uist; an initiative driven by Community Estate Company Storas Uibhist’s Askernish Development Manager John Kemp. John also implemented monitoring tools to evaluate the success of the Open.

This year was hugely successful – there was a 40% increase in competitors over 2010 and the number attending came close to that of the opening of the restored golf course in 2008 when Honorary Club President Kenny Dalglish teed off to huge local & media interest.

Nearly three-quarters of all the players came from outside the Uist islands and of these visiting golfers 47% were playing golf at Askernish for the first time. The truly international field came from as far away as the US, Canada, and Belgium, and there was a party of golfers visiting from Finland.

This makes the Askernish Open Golf Weekend a considerable tourism draw to the Islands. The average golf visitor attending it stays for 3 nights and spends just over £300 during their time on the isles. Overall, this weekend of golf was worth an approximate 179 tourist days and over £18,000 to the Uist economy.

45% of the golfers visiting the islands stayed in B&Bs, whilst 36% stayed in hotels and 39% of the golfers rated their accommodation experience as “very good”. 88% of the visiting golfers accessed the islands by sea, whilst there was a handful that came by private jet direct to the isles.

100% of the Open Weekend’s participants said they will recommend the Askernish Open Golf Weekend to others, and 99% are considering returning to play again in 2012.

Plans are already afoot for the further development of the Askernish Open Golf Weekend in 2012 to make it bigger and better. March 2012 will also see a new golf & island experience event hosted at Askernish with funding from Scotland’s Islands.

For further information about the Askernish Open Golf Weekend, and the participant survey results contact John Kemp, Askernish Development Manager by emailing john.kemp@storasuibhist.com

26th August 2011

Askernish Open Weekend

2011 marks 120 years since Old Tom Morris laid out his course at Askernish and to celebrate this, Askernish Golf Club is expanding it’s flagship Askernish Open to a weekend-long event. Additional competitions will be held today (Friday) and on Sunday, as well as an opportunity to try out Hickory golf clubs.

The Club anticipates in excess of 80 competitors taking part in the weekend events.

Friday 26th August
Inaugural Mackenzie & Ebert Quaich – 18-hole Stableford

Saturday 27th August
Askernish Open – 18-holes Strokeplay

Sunday 28th August
International Team Competition – 18-holes Texas Scramble, upto 4-man teams.

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Due to technical problems with the editing function of our website, we have been unable to provide news updates over the last few weeks. This has now been rectified.

24th June 2011

Sealladh na Beinne Mòire Director Election Results

The postal ballot for election of Directors to the Sealladh na Beinne Mòire Board closed on Thursday 23rd June.

57.5% of the 840 Members participated in the ballot to select two Directors from the five candidates.
George MacAulay was re-elected to the Board for a second term and will be joined by Colin Morrison. George MacAulay was previously co-opted to the Board in 2007, before standing for election in 2009. Newly elected Colin Morrison is an active crofter and has highlighted a particular interest in supporting crofting activity.
The ballot was conducted by the independent organisation, Electoral Reform Services, who notified Sealladh na Beinne Mòire of the result on the morning of Friday 24th June.

The full results are as below:

Number of eligible voters: 840
Total number of votes cast: 483
Turnout: 57.5%
Number of votes found to be invalid: 8
Total number of valid votes to be counted: 475

Result:

MacAULAY, George 260 Elected
MORRISON, Colin 195 Elected
MacINNES, Donald G 162
PETERANNA, John Daniel 129
STEELE, Roderick 124

Angus MacMillan, Chair of Sealladh na Beinne Mòire said, ‘The continued input and participation by the community in the operation of the community company, particularly for the Directors elections, is important and I would like to thank all the candidates who stood for election and the Members who voted for their interest and support in determining the future of the company. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Martin Matheson, who decided not to stand for re-election this year, for his considerable time and efforts over the past six years towards the great progress that has been made by the company.’

John MacMillan, Vice-Chair, said, ‘A new Director has joined the Board for each of the past three years and this continues to bring fresh ideas and enthusiasm to the community company that is developing and improving the estate management as well as progressing major development projects, while ensuring stability and continuity on the Board. ’

Due to technical problems with the editing function of our website, we have been unable to provide news updates over the last few weeks. This has now been rectified.

1st June 2011

Five candidates have submitted their names for election as Directors for Sealladh na Beinne Mòire.

In 2010, 85% of Members participated in the postal ballot that is conducted by Electoral Reform Services (ERS) and a similarly high turnout is hoped for this year.

ERS will distribute the ballot papers for the election, which will run from June 6th to June 23rd. Members are encouraged to complete and return their ballot papers to Electoral Reform Services, in the pre paid envelopes, as soon as possible to ensure they arrive in time to be included in the count. ERS will count the returned votes and notify SnBM of the result by Friday June 24th.

Angus MacMillan, Chairman of Sealladh na Beinne Mòire, said, ‘We are pleased to have five strong candidates standing for election this year, who all have skills and knowledge that can contribute to delivering the objectives of community ownership. The continued support and input from the Members is essential to the success of the company and we would encourage all Members to participate in the postal ballot over the next few weeks.’

Huw Francis, Chief Executive said, ‘Since 2009 a total of fifteen people have stood for election and one person has been newly elected to the Board each year. With two vacancies on the Board, there will be at least one new Director joining the company again this year, as Martin Matheson has decided not to re-stand for election after almost five years service. ‘

For further information please contact Huw Francis, Chief Executive; 01878 700101


Candidate Name Proposer Seconder
George MacAulay Isobel Graham Donald John MacPhee
Donald G MacInnes Angus MacIntyre Ralph Thomspon
Roderick Steele Patricia Peteranna Donald J. Peteranna
John Daniel Peteranna Gilbert MacLellan Peter Steele
Colin Morrison Peggy Campbell Kate Ann MacPhee

Candidate’s statements giving their reason for standing and skills/knowledge that they can contribute to the Board –

Nominee – George MacAulay
As a current Director I would like to continue to support the other Directors and staff at Stòras Uibhist to fulfill the ambitions of the community company.
Nominee – Donald G MacInnes
I am a 46 year old local man with four children from North Boisdale. I am standing for election as I believe that I can make an important contribution to the running of the community company with my experience of crofting techniques, the construction industry and running my own business in a difficult economic environment.
I am particularly interested in working to improve the employment opportunities for young people, to try and stop the flow of our youth to the mainland. I believe that there are many openings within our Island for the use of our natural resources to create sustainable employment.
If elected I guarantee to work to the best of my abilities for the betterment of all members of the Island community.
Nominee – Roderick Steele
I think that my experience in the delivery of relativley large building and civil engineering contracts may be an asset to Stòras Uibhist.
Nominee – John Daniel Peteranna
To help and support
Nominee – Colin Morrison
I have lived and worked in South Uist all my life. I have an understanding of the issues and challanges facing the community.
I am an active crofter and I beleive that it is vitaly important for the future of the Island.
I would bring my crofting knowledge to the Board. I am keen to see the regeneration projects succeed for the benefit of the Community and if elected would support the Board and Staff in order to do so.

The elections open on Monday 6th June 2011
The elections close on Thursday 23rd June 2011

The AGM will take place on Thursday 30th June 2011 at 7.30pm in Talla an Iochdar

AGM 2011 Documents –

Chair Report 2011
AGM Agenda 2011
SnBM AGM Proxy Form 2011

27th May 2011

We are pleased to confirm our first business tenants in the new Daliburgh office. Farran Martin Patton who are working on the schools development project in the Western Isles moved in earlier this week. We look forward to maximising the available facilities in the building and hope this will attract further enterprise to the area.

23rd May 2011

The Askernish Golf Club Free Ladies event will now take place on Sunday 12th June 2011 at 10.30am

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The April 2011 Board Meeting Minutes are now available on the website – www.storasuibhist.com/members/board-meetings/2011-minutes/

20th May 2011

The Askernish Golf Club Free Ladies Lesson event for tomorrow (Saturday 21st May) has been postponed due to the bad weather forecast.

Another date will be advertised soon.

18th May 2011

Stòras Uibhist Submit Lochboisdale Regeneration Planning Application

Stòras Uibhist submitted a full planning application to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar for the Lochboisdale Regeneration scheme on Monday 16th May. Determination of the application is expected in October 2011, with construction commencing in early 2012. The application has been submitted following the 12 week pre-application process which included three public meetings to consider the development.

The £9.5m project will connect Gasay Island to Rhubha Buailte and Lochboisdale village, via two causeways. A new fishery pier, slipway and working area will be created on Gasay Island for the local fishing fleet. A marine leisure facility will be located between Gasay Island and Rhubha Buailte and protected by two breakwaters. This will be one of the deepest water ports on the west of Scotland with 5.5m of depth at low water.

Gasay Island will be allocated for commercial development and Rhubha Buailte is reserved for housing. Gasay Island and Rhubha Buailte are part of the community owned estate, but are not in crofting tenure.

With funding secured from HIE, CNES and ERDF, the project is expected to be a significant economic boost for Lochboisdale and the whole of the Outer Hebrides, by the creation of many jobs, boosting the tourism sector and, in the longer term, improving the transport links to the mainland.

The project has been under development for many years and has received significant support from HIE and CNES to reach this important milestone. WA Fairhurst and Partners have prepared the planning application and will continue to work with Stòras Uibhist to secure the planning consent. WA Fairhurst will also complete the detailed design work for the project.

For further information please contact Huw Francis at Stòras Uibhist, 01878 700101.

16th May 2011

Askernish Golf Club

LADIES!! Come along and try golf for free!

Saturday 21st May 2011, 10.30am until 12.30pm

*Golf lessons *Competitions & Prizes *Buffet & Refreshments

To reserve a place call John Kemp on 01878 708004 or e-mail johnkemp@storasuibhist.com

13th May 2011

Electronic Newsletters

The Community Consultation highlighted that our members expect more regular and more widely distributed information on the activities of the company and we have therefore initiated a monthly paper newsletter – Naidheachdan Stòras - which will be available in local Post Offices and from Oifis Stòras. These newsletters are designed to keep the community more involved and up to date with what Stòras is currently working on.

We will also send e-newsletters as a cost effective way of spreading news and getting information out quickly to members as and when required. We would therefore like to encourage as many members as possible to sign up for our e-newsletters. You can join our mailing list by contacting Oifis Storas or by sending an e-mail to info@storasuibhist.com with your name, address and e-mail details.

28th April 2011

Amanda Bryan of Aigas Associates, who carried out the community consultation on behalf of Stòras Uibhist, will present her report on the findings of the consultation at two public meetings on;

Tuesday May 10th at South End Community Hall at 7.30pm and on
Wednesday May 11th at St Mary’s Hall Griminish at 7.30pm.

We would like to thank to everyone who took part in the consultation and we look forward to welcoming everyone to the presentations and giving the community an opportunity to discuss the findings and ask any questions they may have.

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Nomination of Directors for Election to the Board of Sealladh na Beinne Mòire

The annual election of Directors for Sealladh na Beinne Mòire will be held between 6th June and 23rd June 2011. The election will be held by postal ballot and will be conducted by the Electoral Reform Society, which is an independent body.

Nominations for Directors should be submitted using the 2011 Director Nomination Form. Forms can be returned between 9am on 29th April 2011 and 4pm on 27th May 2011 to the Office Manager, Sealladh na Beinne Mòire, Oifis Stòras, Isle of South Uist, HS8 5SS.

Up to seven Directors can be elected to the Board of Directors and there will be two vacancies in 2011, as the Articles of Association require two of the current Directors who have served longest since their last election to stand down this year. The two Directors standing down are Martin Matheson and George MacAulay.

Only full Members can nominate candidates for election, from among the list of full Members. Two full Members are required to support a nomination.

Timetable for Nominations / AGM;

Nominations open – 29th April
Nominations close – 27th May
Elections open - 6th June
Elections close – 23rd June
AGM – 30th June

18th April 2011

Askernish hosts Scholarship Students

April 4th saw Askernish Golf Club host the Askernish Student Sustainability Project; an education programme where greenkeeping students from Elmwood College in Fife and Myerscough College in Lancashire visit Askernish Golf Club for a week of lectures and workshops delivered by three of the most eminent professionals in their fields; Golf Architect Martin Ebert, Master Greenkeeper Gordon Irvine, and Ecologist Dr Keith Duff.

The week played host to students who are awarded scholarships by the governing body of golf – The Royal & Ancient Golf Club (R&A) in St Andrews. The students hail from as far afield as Estonia.

The enthusiastic group received lectures & presentations on the history of golf at Askernish, the golf course restoration project, sustainable greenkeeping practices, and the environment & the ecology of the machair. They also endured poor weather and summer climes to plan their own 9-hole golf courses, work with the golf course greenstaff, and survey the environmental habitats found out on the Askernish machair.

With the kind support of the R&A, Askernish is looking forward to again playing host to another group of students in September of this year.

More information about the week can be found on the Askernish Golf Club website : www.askernishgolfclub.com.

14th April 2011

Lochboisdale Regeneration Project

Pre-Planning Statutory Consultation Meetings
Stòras Uibhist is holding a third and final pre-planning consultation meeting regarding the proposed Lochboisdale Regeneration Project, Lochboisdale, Isle of South Uist in advance of submitting the application for Planning Permission for the Phase 1 Development.

Members of the public are encouraged to attend these meetings and provide any comments to Stòras Uibhist – the applicant – regarding the proposed plans.

The current plan for the Lochboisdale Regeneration Phase 1 Project includes a new road and causeways, fisheries pier and slipway (with associated hardstandings), a small boat and yacht harbour with pontoons and breakwater(s).

Further information can be seen on the Stòras Uibhist website – www.storasuibhist.com or by contacting Kirsty Campbell (see contact info below).

The meeting will be held in Oifis Storas, Daliburgh, South Uist at 7.30pm on Thursday 21st April.

Alternatively comments can be submitted in writing or in person to Kirsty Campbell, Development Manager, Stòras Uibhist, Oifis Stòras, Daliburgh, South Uist, HS8 5SS, at kirsty.campbell@storasuibhist.com or on 01878 700101.

*NB Comments made to the prospective applicant (Stòras Uibhist) are not representations to the planning authority (CnES). If the prospective applicant submits a full planning application there will be an opportunity to make representations on that application to the planning authority.

31st March 2011

Work has commenced on preparing the planning application for the Phase 1 Lochboisdale regeneration project.

Fairhurst and Partners (Glasgow) have been appointed to complete the planning application on behalf of Stòras Uibhist for the project which will be a major development in planning terms.

The planning application will require a complete environmental statement. A major construction project over land and water means the environmental statement will require a range of activities including: Landscape and Visual Impact Appraisal, Otter Survey and Working Method Statement, Marine Ecology Survey, Sediment Transport Review and Water Quality Modelling, Archaeology Survey, Noise and Vibration Assessment, Hydrodynamic Modelling and Costal Processes Study.

Current Meters have been deployed in the area, for the Hydrodynamic Modelling. Meanwhile, landscape architects and ecologists have recently visited the sites to take measurements and undertake walk over surveys.

Major developments in planning are required to under take a 12 week pre-application consultation. This 12 week process is now underway and comments can be returned to Stòras Uibhist or their agents, Fairhurst, until 4th April 2011. Two successful pre-planning consultation meetings were held in the local community on 15th and 24th March 2011.

The preparation of the planning application comes as the project is reaching a crucial phase. The outline design has been completed and the project can now be fixed. The project which will include the building of roads, causeways, a working quay and pontoons for leisure sailing and fisheries, is estimated to cost around £9.5million.

Stòras Uibhist have successfully secured £7.5million in funding towards the project from HIE (£5.1m) CnES (£625k) and ERDF (£1.9m) with applications submitted for the remainder.

10th March 2011

Expressions of interest for Loch Carnan Community Wind Farm

Expressions of interest are currently being sought for the turbine supply and civil works for the Loch Carnan Community Wind Farm. It is anticipated that the contracts will be in place by July 2011 with construction work commencing shortly afterwards with final installation of the turbines taking place in Spring 2012.

This represents a significant point in the development of the project, with the final steps being reached in finalising the project and moving into the delivery phase.

Stòras Uibhist, whilst not a public body, is required to tender for the works in accordance with public procurement rules, due to the public funding which has been approved for the project, from the European Regional Development Fund and Scottish Investment Funds.

We have issued the stage 1 pre-qualification details using the public contracts Scotland portal. www.publiccontractsscotland.co.uk. The stage 1 responses will be returned by 28th March 2011. Invitations to tender will then be issued to a minimum of 5 companies for each of the 2 contracts.

Anyone seeking more information should contact Kirsty Campbell 01878 700101, kirsty.campbell@storasuibhist.com.

7th March 2011

Lochboisdale Regeneration Project – Pre-Planning Statutory Consultation Meetings

Stòras Uibhist is holding 2 Planning Consultation Meetings regarding the proposed Lochboisdale Regeneration Project, Lochboisdale, Isle of South Uist in advance of submitting the application for Planning Permission for the Phase 1 Development.

Members of the public are encouraged to attend these meetings and provide any comments to Stòras Uibhist – the applicant – regarding the proposed plans.

The current plan for the Lochboisdale Regeneration Phase 1 Project includes a new road and causeways, fisheries pier and slipway (with associated hardstandings), a small boat and yacht harbour with pontoons and breakwater(s).

The first meeting will be held in Lochboisdale Hotel, Lochboisdale, South Uist on Tuesday 15th March at 7.30pm

The second meeting will be held in Talla Chidhe, Lochboisdale, South Uist on Thursday 24th March at 7.30pm.

Alternatively comments can be submitted in writing or in person to Kirsty Campbell, Development Manager, Stòras Uibhist, Oifis Stòras, Daliburgh, South Uist, HS8 5SS, at kirsty.campbell@storasuibhist.com or on 01878 700101.

*NB Comments made to the prospective applicant (Stòras Uibhist) are not representations to the planning authority (CnES). If the prospective applicant submits a full planning application there will be an opportunity to make representations on that application to the planning authority.

1st March 2011

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar will be holding a public consultation tonight to consider the options and support for the Lochboisdale – Mallaig ferry service.

The meeting will be in South End Hall, Daliburgh at 7pm

The South Uist community is strongly urged to attend this meeting to once again make their views known to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar regarding the demand for an appropriate ferry service for Lochboisdale.

Stòras Uibhist believes the only acceptable option is a direct link between Lochboisdale and Mallaig, with ferries operating on a daily basis, similar to that provided to all other communities.

28th February 2011

From today, Stòras Uibhist is officially operating from the new office premises at Oifis Stòras, Daliburgh, South Uist, HS8 5SS.

An Open Day will be held soon to allow members of the community to come and view the offices and get an update on projects to date. A drink and and bite to eat will be available!

15th February 2011

Stòras Ghàidhlig 2011 dates now confirmed – Sunday 24th – Saturday 30th April

Stòras Ghàidhlig offers Gàidhlig learners a unique and exciting opportunity to spend a residential week in South Uist and its surrounding communities, enhancing and developing their Gàidhlig through a total immersion programme of tutorials and cultural activities.

Based at the exclusive Grogarry Lodge on an all inclusive basis, it is an exceptional opportunity for learners to experience Hebridean culture, hear Gàidhlig spoken in its native tongue and apply their Gàidhlig in an informal atmosphere in the homeland of the Gaels.

For more information visit the Stòras Ghàidhig webpage.

8th February 2011

Stòras Uibhist will operate from new office premises in Daliburgh from Monday 28th February 2011.

The new address will be;

Stòras Uibhist
Oifis Stòras
Daliburgh
South Uist
HS8 5SS.

4th February 2011

A vacancy has arisen for a Skipper for the Stòras Uibhist boat, Highlander.

Please see our vacancies webpage for further information.

31st January 2011

Support for the Lochboisdale – Mallaig ferry service

Please sign the petition below in support of the Lochboisdale Mallaig Ferry service:

Lochboisdale – Mallaig ferry petition

28th January 2011

As part of the Community Consultation exercise being carried out by Amanda Bryan of Aigas Associates, questionnaires have now been sent out to SnBM members and those eligible to be members.

The questionnaire is anonymous and reporting will be summarised such that feedback will not be attributed to individuals.

The survey closes at midnight on Thursday 17th February 2011.

Anyone who has not yet received a questionnaire please contact Amanda Bryan directly on 01463 782597 or at aigasassociates@aol.com

Your response to this questionnaire is greatly appreciated

10th January 2011

Askernish Golf Course Development Manager joins Stòras Uibhist

John Kemp, an Orcadian who has worked at golf courses across the UK and more recently in California, has joined Stòras Uibhist to promote Askernish Golf Course and the South Uist Estate area’s outdoor attractions to a wider market.

With funding from HIE, Leader Innse Gall and VisitScotland, John Kemp will work in partnership with the tourism sector to attract increased visitor numbers and extend the tourism season.

Stòras Uibhist has secured the funding for the post to promote the important tourism sector of the islands of Eriskay, Benbecula and South Uist. John Kemp will be meeting with local businesses over the next few weeks to identify key target markets and ensure the marketing and promotional activity undertaken has the widest possible impact on the local tourism sector.

6th January 2011

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Stòras Uibhist welcomes in the New Year with the announcement from The Scottish Government of £1.88 million of European funding for the Lochboisdale Regeneration Project.

The cash from the European Regional Development Fund will help provide a site for enhanced transport and cargo facilities, the creation of development land for commercial and business activity and the creation of 2km of road, including a causeway.

Overall the scheme will cost £10 million. Stòras Uibhist has previously received £5 million from Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is committing £625k to the project. Further funding is being actively pursued.

We look forward to advancing this project in 2011!

Further information can be found in the Development section of our website.

Further press coverage can be viewed on the Scottish Government’s website and in Gàidhlig on the BBC’s news page.

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Askernish Golf Course’s new look website is now live and can be viewed at www.askernishgolfclub.com

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6th December 2010

Stòras Uibhist has bought the HIE advance office building in Daliburgh, South Uist, on the fourth anniversary of the historic community purchase of the Estate.

The building will be transformed into a new office for Stòras Uibhist’s with a number of serviced offices which can be leased to businesses operating in the area. We anticipate entry to the building in early February 2011.

Click here to view full Office Purchase Report and for more information on Serviced Office Rental.

Stòras Uibhist has secured a £5m boost for the Lochboisdale Port of Entry project.

HIE has awarded a grant of just over £5m to Stòras Uibhist towards the planned £9.9m development of Lochboisdale Harbour. CnES has already committed £625,000 to the project and further funding is being actively pursued.
Click here to read the full HIE £5m Funding Press Release

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Amanda Bryan of Aigas Associates will be running consultations with Stòras Uibhist members and the wider community over the next 4 months. The consultation is seeking views on:

  • What the community company has done well
  • What the community company can do better going forward
  • What the priorities should be in the future
  • How best to keep people informed of progress
  • The first opportunity to give feedback will be at a series of drop-in sessions, followed by questionnaires issued to all members and those eligible to be members. The drop-in surgeries will be held at:

    Monday 6th December 3pm – 8pm Stoneybridge Hall
    Tuesday 7th December 3pm – 8pm Southend Hall
    Wednesday 8th December 3pm – 8pm St Mary’s Hall, Griminish
    Thursday 9th December 3pm – 8pm Eriskay Hall

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    Croft Rent Surgeries will be held at various venues throughout the week commencing 13th December 2010, where you can drop in to pay your annual rent and have any queries answered by a Stòras Uibhist representative.

    Monday 13th December Balivanich Hall, 8.30am – 2pm
    Tuesday 14th December Eriskay Hall, 8.30am – 1.30pm
    Wednesday 15th December Iochdar Hall, 8.30am – 1pm
    Thursday 16th December Daliburgh Thrift Shop, 9am – 12.30pm

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