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In 2010 the Ross of Mull and Iona, including Pennyghael and Tiroran, was identified by Highlands and Islands Enterprise as being an area which could benefit from support through the “Growth at the Edge Project”. The original ‘anchor organisation’ (MICT) has now handed on the scheme to South West Mull and Iona Development Ltd a company whose aims are to regenerate the area by supporting businesses, the community and the location. The Company has adopted a set of clear objects to support these aims. The Local Development Officer post is funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
The first job for the LDO was to create the Ross of Mull and Iona Community Plan which was produced in 2011, after extensive community consultation. Eleven public meetings were held over 3 months and in early February a household survey was sent to 333 resident households on the Ross and Iona. The survey had a response rate of 48% and provided a strong base of information to build the plan on. The information gathered from the community at the consultation sessions, one to one conversations and the household survey was combined with a socio-economic analysis of the area based on official statistics to produce the Ross of Mull and Iona Community Plan,
Throughout the process the Ross of Mull and Iona Development Group (now South West Mull and Iona Development) monitored the results of the consultations and the socio-economic analysis and established seven outcomes which we hoped to achieve by addressing the action points identified in the community plan. The outcomes are listed below and projects which South West Mull and Iona Development are involved in must contribute to meeting these outcomes.
- A larger and more balanced population
- A fit-for-purpose infrastructure
- A stronger more diverse business base
- Increase in average household income
- Strengthened local culture
- Improved community resilience
- A fully developed social infrastructure