Muaitheabhal Trust spreading Christmas Cheer

It has been the month of the community buy out in the Muaitheabhal Trust area, with two organisations receiving the good news that they are now able to progress with community ownership plans. Muaitheabhal Trust was in the proud position to be a source of vital financial assistance to these groups, helping to herald a new chapter for our community.

Keose Glebe Steering group, who through Kinloch Community Council, received an initial start-up grant from the Muaitheabhal Trust earlier this year, were delighted to hear that they were successful in their bid to the Scottish Land Fund for £105,000 towards their buyout plans. Angus Smith, Keose Glebe Steering Group, said: ‘we are extremely grateful for the initial start-up funding received from the Muaitheabhal Trust, which undoubtedly gave us a boost at the start of this long process. We are only at the beginning of things, but we have momentum. We firmly believe, that with hard work and dedication, and together with the fantastic support we have received from HIE, CnES, Community Land Scotland, the Muaitheabhal Trust and others – we can make a real difference here.’ Muaitheabhal Trust would like to wish them well with their plans and look forward to working with them in the future.

In Pairc, the good news came that the community buy-out had finally been secured, enabling ownership of the Estate to transfer to the community. Muaitheabhal Trust awarded a loan of £27,500 towards the professional fees incurred in the buyout process. Iain M Maciver, Chairman of Muaitheabhal Community Wind Farm Trust, said: ‘After a long and difficult journey Pairc Trust has finally achieved its goal. Muaitheabhal Trust now wishes Pairc Trust every success on their journey.’

The funding awards continue, with an award to Ravenspoint of £60,500 towards a two year project to cover immediate revenue funding shortages and also towards their plans for the continued development of the Hostel and to improve the general energy efficiency of the building. Ishbel MacLennan, CCnaP Chairperson, said: ‘Maintaining services is essential to the future of our communities and working in partnership is key to achieving that. We are very thankful and encouraged by the support of Muaitheabhal Trust as we continue efforts to secure Ravenspoint’s future for our community at this time of exciting change in Pairc.’

And finally, showing that good things can also come in small packages, an award of just over £1000 was given to Alzheimer Scotland (Western Isles Branch) to establish a ‘Dementia Café’ in Kinloch and Pairc. These gatherings will offer an opportunity for local people with dementia and their carers to meet and receive advice and support from trained staff. It is hoped the cafes will be starting in the New Year.

As the end of the year approaches, Muaitheabhal Trust is supporting 7 jobs in the community, having allocated £101,556 in grants to various groups over the year, as well as providing £33,500 in short term loans over that period. The New Year brings a new budget of £200,000 of available spend on community projects and judging by the amount of activity and potential applications in the pipeline it may not be long before that is allocated. Please get in touch as soon as you can with your plans and ideas and discuss them with Trust staff.

The Trust would like to wish all residents a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.