At South West Mull and Iona Development we seem to be busier than ever! We have welcomed two new members of staff over the past couple of months, bringing our team up to four.

Saskia Davidson (on the left), our new administrator, started at the beginning of September and has been quickly getting to grips with our finance package, organising and minuting meetings, taking charge of our social media and whatever else we throw at her. 

Helen Petrie, our ScotGrad, started on 1st October and is supporting Morven with project development. The ScotGrad programme is 70% funded and is for someone who has acquired a relevant qualification within the past three years and has appropriate skills to fit with the role.

Both women have brought a new energy to the SWMID team and we are delighted to have them on board.

Community Land Week Event: Thursday 16th August

Community Land Scotland represents community landowners all over Scotland, including South West Mull and Iona Development, supporting and driving forward community land ownership. 

Scotland’s first ever Community Land Week runs from Saturday 11th to Sunday 19th August and celebrates community ownership, as well as encouraging people to find out what is happening on community owned land in their local area, or further afield. 

As part of this week, on Thursday 16th August, South West Mull and Iona Development are holding an event entitled: “Tiroran Community Forest – Then and Now”. The event takes place in the forest and explores three aspects that have been affected by changes in land ownership and use over time; People, Forestry, Biodiversity & Nature. We are very lucky to have three distinguished experts to guide us through these topics! Christine Leach will be talking about the people that used to occupy the forest and there will be an opportunity to find out from us about possible future repopulation through the introduction of woodland crofts. Chris Marsh of the Community Woodlands Association will be exploring the forestry plantation of the 1970s in comparison with future plans and aspirations. John Clare will be looking at the species in the forest and the impact of previous and future forest management.

It promises to be a fascinating afternoon. Please join us from 1pm to 4pm at the main forest entrance by the bridge.

Booking is not required but contact Morven on mgibson@swmid.co.uk or 01681 700021 if you would like more information.

Click here for more information on Community Land Week.

 

 

 

Fèis Mhuile: 9th, 10th & 11th February 2018

Thank goodness for Fèis Mhuile. February weather: the wind is howling, it’s grey and wet. But all is well, because in ten short days the bright, sparkly and warming Fèis Mhuile is back!

Friday 9th February, Argyll Arms, 8.30pm
Dihaoine 9mh Gearran, Argyll Arms, 8.30f

Tutor’s Ceilidh Cèilidh an luchd-oide
Listen to a fabulous session with our Fèis tutors/Cothrom èisteachd ri luchd-ciùil nam fèis aig seisean-ciùil 

 Saturday 10th February
Disathairne 10mh Gearran,

Classes for adults: Singing and Step-dancing. Book your place!
Clasaichean do dh’ inbhich: Seinn agus dannsa-ceum. Thigibh ann!  

Saturday 10th February, Bunessan Hall, 8pm
 Talla Bhun Easain, 8f

Fèis Dance Dannsa na fèise  Cosgais | Cost: £5/£3
Tickets on the door Tiocaidean air an doras

Dance the night away with the Fèis Ceilidh band/Ceòl le luchd-oide nam fèis – bheir leibh ur brògan-dannsaidh 

Sunday 11th February, Bunessan Hall, 2pm
Didòmhnaich 11mh Gearran, Talla Bhun Easain, 2f

 Fèis Concert Consart na fèise Cosgais £1

All weekend there are classes for children with spaces still available for all ages. 

For more information, please contact Celia:
Gheibhear tuilleadh fiosrachaidh bho Celia: 

01681 700021/admin@swmid.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Farewell to John

John and Colin, SWMID’s chair, overseeing felling in the forest.

 

We are sad to be saying goodbye to John Clare at the end of the year. 

John has given so much time and energy, both as a SWMID director and then as Forest Officer, from November 2015.

John’s expertise and knowledge have been invaluable. We are hoping we can persuade him to lead some guided walks and activities in the forest this spring and summer. Watch this space! 

 

 

John with his lovely wife Sue having a quiet break at the forest opening celebration in June 2016

 

 

 

 

Housing Needs Surveys

    

At our Community Consultations in 2016, a lack of affordable housing was identified as a key challenge to the sustainability of thriving communities in South West Mull and Iona. This was linked to the need to retain and attract working age individuals and families to live in this area.

In response to this key issue, South West Mull and Iona Development have commissioned Our Island Home – Rural Housing Scotland to carry out housing need surveys for South West Mull and for Iona. Please see the links below.

Anyone can fill in a survey – you don’t have to be in need of affordable housing yourself. This is an issue that affects us as a whole community as well as having an impact on individuals’ lives. If you know of anyone who lives outwith the area but would like to live and work here if affordable housing were available, please ask them to fill in a form too. The results of these surveys are a way of demonstrating housing need to funders and decision-makers and can be used to support affordable housing developments.

Closing date is 31st December 2017 – please don’t leave it too late. 

 South West Mull Survey – https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/T2DZVDM

 Iona Survey – https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/TVF77M2

 If you know of anyone who might prefer a paper copy to fill in, please contact Cameron Anson on 07933424812  or cameron@ruralhousingscotland.org

A new era for SWMID at the Columba Centre

We were delighted to welcome around 55 people to our AGM on Saturday 25th November. We didn’t realise we could fit that many in to the exhibition area at the Columba Centre – standing room only at the back! 

After the usual AGM business, we updated folk on our various projects, all at different stages of delivery. The morning ended with coffee and cake and a chance to explore our new domain. The SWMID staff have a lovely new office, with great views, while Rural Housing Scotland are subletting a cosy wee space next to the kitchen – very handy for coffee-making. We have other office spaces to let, both for long-term use and for hot-desking. The 33sqm exhibition space is also available – a perfect size for a shop, perhaps?

If you are interested in letting space in the Columba Centre, please get in touch. We are currently seeking expressions of interest for the office spaces (closing date 31st December 2017) and the exhibition space (closing date 31st January 2018). We look forward to hearing from you! 

Please contact Celia on 01681 700021; admin@swmid.co.uk

We’re moving in!

Here is our lovely new office at the Columba Centre where we have been waiting for broadband and phone to be connected until we could properly move in. We have been working between this office and our old one which is why, as you can see, Morven’s desk is still pretty empty. Not for long! 

Our new phone number is 01681 700021 and our address is: The Columba Centre, Fionnphort, Isle of Mull PA66 6BH.

We’re looking forward to showing everyone around at our AGM on 25th November and excited by the potential for the Columba Centre to become a vibrant and creative space that benefits the community.

 

Morning Coffee and an AGM at the Columba Centre

We are delighted to be able to invite everyone to join us for our AGM, with morning coffee, at the Columba Centre, 11am on Saturday 25th November 2017.

We took over the lease of half of the building on 1st October and are really excited about the potential that this space offers for supporting local people and businesses.

At our AGM on 25th November we will be giving the communities of South West Mull and Iona an opportunity to take a look around, as well as the chance to enjoy Marion’s delicious cakes! As well as the usual AGM business we will be formally launching an invitation to local people and businesses to submit expressions of interest for renting space in the Columba Centre.

 

Special General Meeting: April 24th, Creich Hall 4pm

We would like to invite you to attend a Special General Meeting at Creich Hall on Wednesday 24th March at 4pm. The purpose of the meeting is to approve amendments to our Articles of Association to comply with changes to the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 and with the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015. At the meeting we will be able to explain what this means to SWMID and to our local community. Members will be able to vote on the amendments. Tea, coffee and cake will be provided!

If you are not yet a member of SWMID and would like to become one, you can join on the day or contact Celia at admin@swmid.co.uk.

If you want to know more about the proposed changes, please contact Morven: mgibson@swmid.co.uk

You can also ring the office on 01681 708000

Exciting Events in May!

One Day SUW poster Walk in the Woods

Two exciting events coming up! On Sunday 14th May, as part of the Tree Council’s Walk in the Woods Festival, we are hosting a guided Walk in the Woods with John Clare, our Forest Officer. Meet at 11am at the forest entrance.

This is followed by a Plant Sale at Tigh na Con, near Tiroran, at 2pm to 5pm with tea, coffee and cakes at the Pennyghael in the Past museum and wood-turning with Bob Hastie.

On Thursday 18th May we are supporting Business Gateway to host a one day Business Start- Up workshop at Creich Hall from 10am to 5pm. You need to book your place but it is free of charge! You can contact us or Business Gateway directly for more information.

Don’t miss out on these great opportunities!