Development Officers Report 17th September 2017
Paths Project lead Director, Duncan Bryden, accompanied by C.C. Chair Vivian Roden, SCT chair Edward Usborne and development officer Charles Morgan attended a meeting with Councillor Ken Gowans and officials from roads and planning department at the Highland council offices in Inverness. The objective was to negotiate more favourable planning conditions on the proposed paths sections 7 and 8 (Shop to Juniper Drive). The council were reminded that this summer has seen more and more walkers and cyclists on this stretch of road with regular reports of speeding vehicles.
As previously reported the onerous conditions imposed by Highland Council would add significant costs to the project. The meeting was robust with open discussion taking place and the result was that Highland Council are tasked with offering a compromise solution to enable the completion of the project. Watch this space!
Broadband for Moy:
BT Openreach have commenced work on the project to supply fibre to premises to 49 houses in the Moy area. The contract is due to be complete by December 2017. The cost is sitting at £85k, and will be paid out of Moy windfarm receipts. James Macpherson and Steve Cormack continue to explore broadband options for up the Glen.
Website and communications:
Director Steve Cormack continues to mastermind the web site and improve our ‘digital’ footprint. The hall can be booked on line and regular news items are posted here and on Facebook
As previously reported the final submission of our application was made on the 21st June 2017. Due diligence is still being carried out by the Big Lottery funding officers on our strategic plan. We have a date for the Lottery Scotland main panel to meet to discuss our application. The meeting takes place on the 19th September.
The community faces stiff completion for lottery funding. SCD believes that we have a strong application and we understand that the decision on our application will be made known on the 20th September. Fingers, toes and anything else you can think of crossed! Social Investment Scotland have completed successfully their due diligence work on SCD Ltd and an offer of loan finance for the proposed new hub has been made. Up to £1m of loan is available should it be required.
Please note that other funding avenues are being explored and have been submitted. These include applications to the Regional Regeneration Fund, Scottish Land Fund and Strathdearn Charitable Community Trust (likely to require a community ballot)
Our Building Warrant is now ready to submit - dependent upon the decision on the application for funding to the Big Lottery. The tender process for choosing a contractor is scheduled to commence in October. The chosen contractor to be announced by December.
White River Trading:
White River Trading is the name of SCD’s trading company and runs the village shop. It is with great credit to Lee-Anne and her staff that we can report a break -even situation on the shop accounts April to July 2017.
Whilst there is still a lot of work to do in the shop and previously the shop was trading at a loss and required subsidy, it is rewarding to see the growing support from the community and the increase in trade.
Our development company admin assistant Victoria Cameron Mackintosh has now left the post for another position with the Calman Trust. Victoria will be greatly missed and the board of SCD thank Victoria for her invaluable contribution to the SCD team.
SCD are delighted to confirm the appointment of Mhairi Macsween as the new admin assistant. This position continues to be fully funded through the DTAS grant we receive.
There is still a need for support staff and volunteers for the shop. If anyone would like to volunteer their time, full training will be given by Lee-Anne. Please contact Lee Anne if you would like to help. The Directors are all volunteers too and we would welcome offers of help in project work. Company membership is increasing and we invite more to join.
After long and protracted negotiations, we have finally signed the contract with ENECO for the Moy windfarm opened in May 2016. The first community benefit payment was made to SCD in August.
Improved shop trading is welcome, hall income has fallen as costs have risen.
Date for your diary - SCD AGM – 27th September 2017 from 7pm