independence – self-determination – autonomy

Support the Ulva Buyout

Last week a 64% vote in favour of the Ulva Buyout by the community with a 64% turnout was major step forward. A statement issued read: “On the basis of the ballot result and also the Business Plan submitted by North West Mull Community Woodland Company (NWMCWC), the Cabinet Secretary for Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham, will now decide whether to “trigger” the Right to Buy. This would give NWMCWC the green light to put together a funding package to complete the purchase in June. Commenting on the project, one of the directors of NWMCWC, John Addy, said;

“It is self-evident to anyone just walking on Ulva that the existing housing stock and other buildings including the historic Telford church are in a poor state of repair and maintenance. Also the present tenants have no security of tenure as their leases expired in November last year and the lease on the Boathouse restaurant expires in June 2018. A new owner would be free to make his or her own decisions on what happens to the island, who and how many people can live there, and whether or not to encourage visitors or even whether to continue to allow operation of the ferry and access to the pier by fishermen. Community ownership however, will bring certainty that repopulation of the island and its social and economic development for the common good will always be the top priorities.This goes to the heart of the land reform process which is about who makes the decisions and has control over the destiny of communities – landlords or the communities themselves? We strongly believe it should be the latter.“

The group now have eight months within which to set out their Business Plan and raise the purchase price. Read Alastair McIntosh for background to the island’s story here.

You can support them at Just Giving here.

The plans include:

  – Provide security of tenure for existing and future residents  

  – Improve housing stock and other buildings

  – Improve infrastructure  – Revitalise and expand agriculture  

  – Manage forestry sustainably and seek new opportunities

  – Unlock the very large tourism potential largely untapped at present

  – Care for and promote the cultural heritage of the island

  – Enhance biodiversity and conserve sensitive habitats and species

  – Safeguard natural habitats of the isolated associated islands and skerries

  – Support Marine Industries, Fishing and Aquaculture  

Further information and documents such as the Feasibility Study can be found on the NWMCWC website here.

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5 Comments

  • Fay Kennedy 4 months ago

    As it’s the birth place of Lachlan MacQuarrie the ‘Father of Australia’ it would be great if some of the Scottish diaspora supported this important initiative.

    Reply
  • T.roz 4 months ago

    ‘Landlords or the communities themselves? We strongly believe it should be the latter’. Fantastic! Best wishes from Islay, one day maybe the ilche will manage such a significant step.

    Reply
  • Maureen Chand 4 months ago

    Mull of Galloway Trust completed a community buyout in 2013. Well worth it. Good luck.

    Reply
  • Graeme McCormick 4 months ago

    Surely instead of vast sums being raised to buy the land it would make more sense to charge the owner an Annual Ground Rent which if he/she/it is unable to pay then the land can be handed over to the community to farm, develop and steward and pay the AGR in future years?

    Reply
    • Crubag 4 months ago

      I’ve never understood the argument for Annual Ground Rent/Land Value Tax that it would disadvantage landlords with tenants – surely they will just pass the tax onto their tenants?

      Reply

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