ACT have been awarded development funding from the Scottish Land Fund and Rural Housing Fund for a feasibility study for new housing in the village. We have expressed an interest in an area of land at Station Road, which has planning in principle for 6 houses, and appointed Highland Small Communities Housing Trust and Sam Foster Architects to help up survey the land, draw up a proposed site plan, housing designs and business plan. Through our planned consultation days, members of the public will be able to see the drawings and give feedback on the designs.
The Land, Sea and Islands Centre has a new upgraded car park and work is underway on the multi-use workshop building. The new car park was badly needed for the centre and the village, which have both seen visitor numbers increase year after year. The building will hold workshops at the centre as well as housing additional artefacts, the community e-bikes and equipment for maintaining the playing field. Funding for the project was gratefully received from Highlands and Islands Enterprise, EU LEADER, the Arisaig Fund and public donations including from the late Bill Henderson, after whom the building will be named ‘Bill’s Shed.’
Arisaig Railway Station is the most Westerly station in Britain and is situated at an attractive viewing point above the village. The historic station buildings, built in 1901, have been largely unused for many years however the Trust now has an opportunity to put them to use once again. Negotiations are taking place to lease one of the rooms and transform it into something that can be used by the community as a meeting and office space. Improvements to the room would be carried out to upgrade the kitchen and bathroom, add shelving, storage and high speed internet. If you have a business, are working from home or would be interested in using the space, we’d like to hear from you! Get in touch to find out how to get involved: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Arisaig Community Trust has commissioned The Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust (HSCHT) to undertake an in-depth local analysis of housing need and future demand. A wider survey to those who are interested in living in Arisaig will also take place and will be advertised through social media. Every household should receive a copy by post shortly. Please complete and return it in the pre-paid envelope or via the online link provided. Your response will be treated IN STRICTEST CONFIDENCE. HSCHT will use responses for statistical analysis only – no personal information will be shared.
24th March Land, Sea and Island Centre 3 – 7pm
Arisaig Community Trust invites you to contribute to the development of your local historic visitor centre. A consultation day on 24th March will be attended by Architect Sam Foster and members of the Trust’s board of directors who will outline plans for the expansion of the Land, Sea and Islands Centre in Arisaig. Four potential designs will be on display and comments are welcome throughout the consultation period, held in the Centre until the 24th March. The Centre has gone from strength to strength with a yearly increase in visitor numbers and the potential to expand the shop and include a small cafe area in the new extension to increase income generation could sustain the centre’s longevity as a rural business. The Trust would welcome suggestions and comments from both locals and visitors as to how the centre can continue to serve the community in Arisaig.
The Arisaig Community Trust AGM was held at the Astley Hall, Wednesday 15th November 2017.
A new board was elected comprising Julie Gordon, Iain Macniven, Pamela King, Peter Fleming, Judy Budge, Jane Foster and Paul Sheard. Julie was elected as Chair, with Iain as Vice Chair and Judy as Treasurer. The new board brings together a diverse set of skills including legal, financial, IT, construction and community development, so the future of the Trust is bright. The new board is already deeply involved in major projects including the further expansion of the Land, Sea and Islands Centre,
Sunday’s Butterfly & Moth event at the Arisaig Land, Sea & Islands Centre was a great success, despite the relentless morning rain!
About 25 people of all ages braved the rain to join us for morning coffee and homemade cakes, before Tom Prescott from Butterfly Conservation, opened up the moth traps (set the night before in Morar, Tougal and Arisaig) to reveal their contents. Lots of very beautiful moths were identified, including a couple of species as yet unrecorded on this part of the west coast. The moths were less than enthusiastic about regaining their freedom in such wet weather conditions. . .
A timely, early afternoon gap in the rain lasted long enough for a very enjoyable, and wonderfully informal butterfly walk and talk, led by Tom, around nearby Arisaig Glen.
The children were encouraged to take part in the Big Butterfly Count, currently taking place around the UK – www.bigbutterflycount.org – an annual survey of butterfly numbers and species, organised by Butterfly Conservation.
Sunday dawned dreich and overcast, but undeterred by a spot (or two) of rain, our gallant footballers took the pitch and played some pretty good football! A competitive, but good humoured match resulted in the young players snatching a narrow victory over the Old Crocks. Final score 10 – 8. Lots going on off the pitch for the younger spectators, with face painting, a sandpit, colouring table, and softball games – while Arthur Campbell did a great job keeping people fed with delicious salmon and prawns, hot off the barbecue.
“The West Highland Community Rail Partnership (WHCRP) is a newly established community organisation, known as the Westie for ease. Our membership area includes the West Highland railway corridor from Mallaig to Crianlarich, as well as its hinterland. We are working to make train travel a more attractive option for locals and visitors alike. We want to keep our roads less busy and our air less polluted”. (extract from the new WHCRP website)
Arisaig Community Trust is keen to support this new local travel initiative, and has just joined the organisation as a community member. WHRCP have made Arisaig Station their local office, and we’re very pleased to welcome them to the village. The partnership committee comprises an enthusiastic group of volunteers, keen to encourage more people to use local train services as an alternative to travel by road.
ACT’s involvement with our local railway station has also taken another step forward – from the end of Sept 2016, ACT will become official ‘Station Adopters’ for Arisaig. This gives us a great opportunity to work towards improving and enhancing the station environment, and make it welcoming gateway to Arisaig. If you have a bit of time to spare, and some imaginative ideas about how we might achieve this, do get in touch with ACT – mail@ arisaigcommunitytrust.org.uk The more local people are involved, the more we can put a ‘local’ stamp on Arisaig station.
The CRP celebrated taking over the lease on its new premises by holding a station garden party, with music (courtesy of a talented trio of musicians from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra), dancing , flowers and afternoon tea – all on the station platform!
Great to see Arisaig Community Trust director, Heather MacDougall, and volunteer, Alison O’Rourke, at the Lochaber Voscars! Heather and Alison were accepting an award at the Voscars ceremony (9th June 2016) on behalf of ACT, who were runners up in the ‘Organisation of the Year’ category, for ‘making our community a better place to live’.
Well done, and thank you to everyone who helps ACT make Arisaig a better place to live.
The Voscars is an annual awards ceremony, organised by Voluntary Action Lochaber, which recognises and celebrates the work carried out by the many, many people who volunteer their services in Lochaber.
(Alison and Heather – 2nd & 3rd from right in photo)