Highland community asset transfers approved by councillors
Four Highland communities in Sutherland, Caithness, Ross and Cromarty and Lochaber have had their requests for land and buildings to be leased or transferred over to them approved by the local authority.
At the Highland Council’s environment, development and infrastructure committee yesterday, members agreed to the sale of land at Clachan Graveyard extension in Bettyhill to Strathnaver Museum for £1. This land, which is not used for internments, will form part of the museum’s plans to provide an enhanced cultural heritage and community hub in the far north.
In May, the committee approved the transfer of the visitor centre with a café that had previously been run by VisitScotland. Both asset transfers will allow the museum to redevelop and expand so it can be more able to sustain itself financially in the future.
Land at Whitedykes Industrial Estate in Cromarty will be transferred to Cromarty Community Development Trust for £1. The Trust plans to use the land to create designated parking and facilities for up to 12 motorhomes to help alleviate the strain on local infrastructure. The project will form part of a wider project to develop year-round tourism facilities in Cromarty, which has successfully secured Rural Tourism Infrastructure Funding with support from the council’s tourism team.
In Caithness, the committee approved the lease for 25 years of Ormlie Community Centre to Ormlie Community Association Ltd for £1 per annum. This will formalise the group’s long-standing occupancy of the building and will help when it comes to securing prospective funding to redevelop and expand existing activities. The building will continue to be used for a range of activities focussing on delivering benefits to the local community.
The fourth request that was given the go-ahead was the sale of the land Spean Bridge Community Centre is built on to the Spean Bridge Community Centre SCIO for £1. This will not only secure tenure for the group but will enhance prospects for future funding to develop and maintain the community facility.
In all four cases, the applicants will cover both the council’s and their own costs associated with the transfers.
Chair of the committee, Cllr Allan Henderson, said: “All of these transfers are integral to the sustainable development and viability of the future plans of these organisations. I am pleased the committee showed their support by agreeing the transfers and I wish all the groups well with their projects.”