Tag Archives: Argyll

No Tiree Array Update

no tiree arrayENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

SNH is currently conducting a Basking Shark survey of the Skye-Mull area, including Tiree & Coll, as part of the environmental study with regard to possible MPA status for, or within, the Area. Tracking details have been impressively revealing in terms of shark location, confirming Tiree-Coll and Skerryvore as a basking shark hot spot. SPR’s survey boat is reported to have sighted 918 Basking Sharks within the proposed Tiree Array Area on 6th August.

NTA will provide a detailed analysis of this data on its website www.no-tiree-array.org .uk

HVDC CONVERTER

SPR has stated it is ‘minded’ to put this offshore. This is based on feedback from last years Public Information Days and the Scenario Mapping Consultations. Notwithstanding this background, SPR still wants to ‘provide more information‘ on locating a convertor onshore in Tiree.

In SPR’s view there may be some ‘benefits in respect of jobs and infrastructure’. SPR advise that it is their intention to provide this information at their next Public Information Day. Irrespective of the reasons offered by SPR to reconsider their ‘minded’ offshore location for such HVDC converters, there are technical ,and operational reasons why SPR would wish to have one, at least, of what could be up to three such HVDC converters on shore Tiree .

NTA has requested SPR to present appropriate visualisations and montages of both options. SPR has refused this request, consequently NTA is requesting Marine Scotland and Fergus Ewing, Scottish Government’s Minister for Energy, to intervene.

NIGHT-TIME VISUALISATIONS

SNH in Marine Scotland‘s Scoping opinion stated :-

We highlight that ‘dark skies’ at night are a major attribute to Tiree. SPR has consistently refused to present appropriate visualisations. NTA will endeavour to present same, shortly, using data provided by SPR.

Argyll Array Project Update No.32 August 2012

Scottish Power Renewables logoTiree RESET Fund

One of the matters that’s come up as I’ve been discussing the Fund with people recently is that many assume it only applies to education or training in engineering. This is far from the case and the range of activities it has been set up to support is very wide.The Background and Rules of the Fund are published elsewhere i An Tirisdeach to emphasise that.

However, a brief extract from them is useful to demonstrate the range of eligible activities-

  • · training and education in general offshore skill sets
  •  · craft skills
  •  · Modern Apprenticeships
  •  · relevant vocational qualifications
  •  · business and management studies
  •  · IT
  •  · all engineering disciplines
  •  · pure and applied sciences and mathematics

In fact, the range of activities is even wider than that and the Rules give more detail. Can I also remind those interested that the deadline for applications to the Fund is 31st August.

Those who have made informal enquiries are reminded that they still need to submit a formal application to the Fund. Because of lack of space, the minutes of the meetings which set up the RESET Fund will be published in the next edition.

Future updates

  • · What’s in an Environmental Statement?
  •  · What’s a pre?application consultation?

Questions or comments If anyone has any questions or comments on any of the above, or indeed any aspect of the project, please contact me at – Donnie Campbell, ScottishPower Renewables Community Liaison Officer, Machair, Kilmoluaig in the first instance. My land line telephone number is 220 352, mobile number 07881 983 753 and email donnie@argyllarray.com.

Tiree Community Development Trust Community Partnership Fund (CPF) Meeting with SPR

 

  • Tiree Trust LogoDate 14th February 2012
  • Time 7.30pm
  • Venue An Talla
  • Present Trust Directors : Roger Jarvis, John Bowler, Trudy MacKenzie, Pat Campbell, Fiona Munn , Tish MacKinnon, Kate MacCallum
  • Trust Staff: Andy Wright
  • Apologies: Mark Armstrong, Rosaleen Campbell
  • SPR: Donnie Campbell, Ralph Thornton (by phone)

1. Welcome and apologies.
2. Previous minutes were agreed with two amendments.
3. Timetable – SPR aim to have agreement in principle for presentations to the community by May 2012.
4. Protocols, Reporting and Consultation – This required no further discussion.
5. Argyll and Bute Council (Should be ABRA) – SPR stated it was up to the company to ensure that any Argyll wide
agreement under the auspices of Argyll & Bute Renewable Alliance (ABRA) had no impact on the final CPF sum
agreed with Tiree.
6. Composition of Fund Negotiating Body – It was agreed that the fund negotiating body would comprise RT
and DC from SPR, Trust Directors plus 2 or 3 members co-opted from the community. These would be separate
from paid legal or financial advisors. DC and IMK to think of candidates for next meeting.
7. Secretariat and Admin – This required no further discussion.
8. Composition of Fund Management Body – TCDT restated that it, as a democratically elected group of
community members with a mechanism in place for distributing community grants, is ideally set up to manage
any proposed CPF. SPR believed that TCDT would have a conflict of interest if it were the fund management
body. SPR would also want a representative on the fund management body. This was discussed but no
agreement was reached. Both SPR and TCDT to take legal advice with regards to distributing such a fund and
this will be discussed at future meetings.
9. Basis for Determination of Fund Amount – TCDT did not feel that the Community Growth Plan for Tiree
should be used as the basis for determining any proposed Fund amount, but that it should be a guide to
spending it. SPR favoured the use of the Plan as an objective starting point and offered to engage an
independent consultant to value it as a first step to allow the discussions to move forward. TCDT agreed but
reserved the right to advocate and explore other methods of determining the Fund amount. SPR will produce
a list of contractors and terms of engagement, to be agreed with TCDT.
10. Skills/Education/Training in 2012/2013 – It was agreed that a new Tiree based group should be formed
with representatives from TCDT, Tiree High School, Argyll College and SPR to produce a skills strategy for
Tiree. SPR indicated that this funding for this would replace sponsorships to local groups and events in the
future.
Meeting closed at 9:15pm

Tiree Community Development Trust Community Partnership Fund (CPF) Meeting with SPR

 

  • Tiree Trust LogoDate 24th January 2012
  • Time 7.30pm
  • Venue An Talla
  • Present Trust Directors : Roger Jarvis, John Bowler, Mark Armstrong, Pat Campbell, Fiona Munn , Tish MacKinnon, Kate MacCallum, Rosaleen Campbell
  • Trust Staff: Andy Wright
  • Apologies: Trudy Mackenzie
  • SPR: Donnie Campbell, Ralph Thornton (by phone)

1. Welcome and introductions. RT gave some background to SPR’s plans to set up a Community Partnership Fund
for the people of Tiree. The Fund would be established this year possibly by April and would initially fund
skills, education and training in renewables sector. This would increase, if consent was given for the wind
farm, by tens of thousands of pounds. By 2019 there would be money in the fund for non educational/training
projects which would be a sum in the order of hundreds of thousands of pounds at this stage.
2. It was agreed that the aim was to have community agreement on the role of these meetings by March/April
2012 (agreements in the meetings will be recommended to the community for ratification with the whole CPF
proposal being eventually agreed and ratified in this way), following 3 stages; Stage 1 – Establishing the basics
of how the fund will be set up and operated. Stage 2 – Establishing how the Fund will be managed and the
amount. Stage 3 – Bringing first two stages together with community agreement. Approval of that aspect of the
project would not influence approval or otherwise of other major aspects, which would be separate issues.
3. Protocols – Draft minutes of joint meetings for CPF will be prepared by AW and DC and approved by TCDT
and SPR at next meeting. Reporting – Joint updates in An Tirisdeach. Public Consultation – Public
Information Days (PIDs) after stage 1 & 2 then possibly a public meeting after stage 3 (to be discussed at future
meetings).
4. Argyll and Bute Council are aware of the discussions about a CPF but are not looking to get involved.
Discussion took place about how this fund could potentially influence Council framework for other wind farms.
5. The composition of the Fund negotiating body was discussed. SPR suggested 3-4 Trust directors, 2 nominated
co-opts and 2 nominated co-opts appointed according to strict criteria plus 2 SPR. TCDT felt that as a
democratically elected group of community members, they are in a fair position to negotiate any proposed
fund. This would allow them to report back to the community what the potential benefit could be if the array
goes ahead. TCDT would likely seek expert advice from the Tiree community and beyond at various stages of
the discussions including the use of additional co-opted directors. This will be discussed further at future CPF
meetings.
6. TCDT will take minutes of CPF meetings, which will be approved by TCDT and SPR at the following meeting
before being made available to the community.
7. The composition of the fund management body was discussed. This could be a current organisation on the
island which is set up to distribute funds such as TCDT, a variation of TCDT, a new body based on the Trust
model or a new community interest company specifically set up for this purpose. This will be discussed
further at future CPF meetings.
8. SPR suggested that the value of the CPF be based on the Community Growth Plan for Tiree, created by Tiree
Development Partnership and updated recently by the HIE Local Development Officer for Tiree. A discussion
took place about how the Plan could be valued. TCDT suggested valuing the Fund based on £ per MW or £ per
head as there is a precedent for this with other wind farms. SPR were of the view that the quantum could not
be based on MW or population and that the Growth Plan was a good basis. There was also a discussion about
whether income from Tiree’s community turbine would be taken into account in any potential funding of the
growth plan. This will be an ongoing topic of discussion at future CPF meetings.
9. Item Skills/Education/Training was deferred until the next meeting.
Meeting closed at 10pm

Young Finn Sails To Victory

by Ian Sharp

FinnEleven-year-old Finn Macdonald is believed to be the youngest skipper to win the Concise Cup after he sailed to victory at last week-end’s annual Tiree regatta.

Last year Finn was crewed in the race by his sailing instructor and although he came in third, he lost his place because of a mix up. This year young Finn, crewed by his dad, Karl Hughes, made up for his disappointment during last year’s centenary regatta, by winning the coveted sailing prize.

After the prize-giving as he proudly held the silver cup which will have his name inscribed on it his father, Karl, said:”He must be the happiest boy on Tiree tonight.”

Finn’s mum Lorna, of Balevullin, said:’‘We are all so proud of Finn’s achievment. He worked so hard to win the cup this year. I have been told that he is thought to be the youngest ever skipper to have won the Concise Cup.”

TMF 2012

tiree music festival 2012Festival goers flocked to Tiree for the sell-out TMF (Tiree Music Festival) with bands including Toploader, the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, the Vatersay Boys and Tiree’s own Skerryvore, taking centre stage against the island’s stunning skyline.

Now in its third year, TMF 2012 was bigger than ever before with a sell out capacity of 1250 as well as the new TMF Community Village and campsite which was home for the weekend for over 500 music fans.

TMF organiser and Skerryvore band member, Daniel Gillespie said: “TMF 2012 exceeded all expectations and it’s all thanks to each and everyone who came to Tiree from near and far. From the bands who performed to the volunteers who helped out over the weekend, the local businesses and landowners who supported the event and, of course, the amazing crowds, this was a truly unforgettable TMF. Thanks to everyone for their incredible support and for making TMF 2012 the success it was. Here’s to 2013!”

The TMF buzz started building on Friday when the campsite opened in glorious sunshine and a plethora of tents were pitched in anticipation of the weekend’s music offerings. On top of music performances, TMF 2012 included workshops and Circus Skills as well as Open Mic opportunities, amongst many other activities. There were also fun for the younger TMF fans with face painting and balloon modelling on offer. Also spotted enjoying the weekend’s entertainment were a group of Smurfs, Oompah Loompas and even a furry crocodile with some festival goers opting for a more ‘unique’ style of gigging attire.

Saturday played host to an array of artists including Face The West, Gunna Sound and Donald MacDonald & Islands. And across the water from Barra, The Vatersay Boys took to the main stage on Saturday night, wowing the crowd with an energy laden performance including the Sands of Vatersay, Oidhche Bha and the theme to Local Hero. And then came Saturday’s headliners – the Red Hot Chilli Pipers – who unleashed their unique brand of ‘bagrock’ on to the TMF followers. Mixing together the sounds of pipes with rock music including AC/DC, Coldplay and Snow Patrol, the Red Hot Chilli Pipers raised the (outdoor) roof with an incredible set, highlighting their worldwide popularity.

Like so many other music festivals this year, wet weather made an appearance but, despite the wind and rain on Sunday, spirits weren’t dampened. After all, TMF followers are made of stronger stuff! Sunday’s acts included Emily Smith, Crooked Reel, and Tiree bands Skippinish, Gunna Sound and Trail West with performances on the main stage, An Talla and on the TMF Community Village Stage. Skerryvore received a rousing response from their homecrowd. No doubt about it, Skerryvore’s homecoming was warm and welcoming – the rain even stopped for their performance! Sunday headliners came in the shape of Toploader, the anthem of the night belonging to their biggest hit ‘Dancing In The Moonlight’, which was made extra special as the band invited Skerryvore piper Martin Gillespie onstage to perform the track with them. Over the weekend, music filled the air, echoing the length and breadth of Tiree as the festival goers showed their TMF appreciation, celebrating one of the best festivals around.

Tiree Agricultural Show 2012

Clydesdale horsesSunshine and shimmering blue sea welcomed a record crowd to the Annual Show on the Isle of Tiree. Many mainland and neighbouring island visitors joined the islanders to enjoy a day at Tiree Show.

There was a warm welcome to Clydesdale judging at the Show after a gap of 50 years. A large influx of horses and ponies to the island during the past year included Mary Flora MacDonald and Sandra Brown’s Clydesdale geldings. Donald MacIntyre, Tiree’s veteran Clydesdale enthusiast, had the task of judging and selected Major from Mary Flora MacDonald, Roadside as his winner. This gelding went on to lift the Champion of Champions awards.

Travelling across the water by rib from Islay, the group of Ileach farmers included Cattle judge Eion Brown, Aoradh. His overall winner in the Crossbred Cattle came from the highly competitive suckled calf classes with an April born Charolais cross heifer calf from Archie John MacLean, Heylipol. Reserve was from Alasdair MacLean, Heylipol with his Limousin cross heifer calf. The champion in the breeding cattle was last year’s overall winner from Colin MacKinnon, Kilkenneth. Colin went on to lift the trophy for most points and the Crofter’s Shield. The Supreme Cattle champion came from the Purebred Section, a British Blue heifer calf, Ruaig Hettie from Alastair and Iain MacInnes, Ruaig.

A good turnout of Crossbred sheep went before judge Angus MacFadyen, Bragleenmore, Oban. Champion in the Prime lambs came from Alastair and Iain MacInnes, Ruaig with a pen of 3 Beltex cross lambs. Blackface Champion was a ewe from Mary Flora MacDonald, Roadside. Sandra Brown, Balevullin lifted the Crossbred championship with a Texel cross ewe and went on to win the trophy for most points and the Crofter’s Shield. Reserve in this section was a Texel cross ewe lamb from Ewan MacKinnon, Hillcrest.

Donald McCormick, Blackrock, another Islay rib passenger, had the task of judging in the Pure bred sheep ring. Brothers Alasdair and Fraser MacLean, Heylipol were champion and reserve respectively with the Supreme Sheep award going to Alasdair’s Beltex gimmer on her first show outing. Reserve overall was Fraser’s homebred Suffolk shearling ram.

In the Ridden Horse and Pony Section, it was the Highland gelding Achnalarig Struan from Janis MacArthur which once again lifted the champion award. Reserve was winner of the horse classes Jan Paterson’s Friesian, Tallina FanT’Sudein. A good turnout of Tiree’s new Pony Club members enjoyed their day at the Show winning many rosettes.

Once again the Pet Show drew a large crowd with many island and visiting dogs on parade before judge Rev Elspeth MacLean. Champion was a black poodle from Rhona McGoogan with the Golden Oldie Quaich going to Skye from Barbara Brown.

The line up of vintage tractors drew lots of admirers with the winner of the pre 1975 class from Donald Archie Brown and the champion rosette awarded to Duncan Cameron’s MF135 from the post 1975 class. Home Industries exhibits were down on the year but the judges commentated on the high standard of exhibits forward. Monica Smith swept the board winning all trophies in this section with Jo Vale winning the Horticulture Cup and John Fletcher‘s basket of mixed vegetables lifting the best exhibit. A magnificent display of crowns, plate gardens and decorated cup cakes from all age groups were entered in the Children’s Section. Andy with his Chainsaw Craft created wonderful carvings of which two were auctioned and can be spotted in gardens on the island. Other great crowd attractions were the Tiree YFC’s sheep racing, Tiree Pipeband and the Clydesdale Single Horse Turnouts in the main ring. Drawing the day to a close, Nan MacLean presented the cups to the day’s winners.

The committee wish to thank all the sponsors and donors of prizes to the Livestock Sections, the Grand Raffle and the Dance Raffle. To all our helpers on the day, a big THANK YOU. To everyone who took part in the listed competition classes, congratulations and thank you for your support. Finally, to everyone who came to the Show and helped make it such an enjoyable day, your attendance was greatly appreciated.

Tiree Agricultural Society

Argyll Array Project Update #30 – July 2012

Scottish Power Renewables logoWhen the announcement of the amended timescales for the Argyll Array was made it was also announced that this would have no effect on the discussions regarding the Community Partnership Fund (CPF) proposed to be established in Tiree by SPR. This is still the case and the commitment to the Fund is unchanged. What has slipped, however, is the timescales for the agreement about the detail of the Fund.

It was agreed between SPR and the Tiree Trust that the financial implications of the current Tiree Growth Plan should be estimated in order to provide a possible first stage in the process of agreeing the annual amount of the Fund. This will require an independent costing of the Growth Plan. SPR has undertaken to fund this work. The delay has been associated with the tendering process for that independent work. We hope that a contract can be awarded soon to allow it to begin.

It was also said at the outset of the negotiations about the CPF that minutes of the meetings held between SPR and the Trust would be published at the end of each stage of discussions. The discussions have however not followed that kind of pattern so it is appropriate to now publish the minutes of the meetings that have taken place so far. These will be published in the next edition of An Tirisdeach, when more space is available, and simultaneously on the websites of SPR and the Tiree Trust. It is also intended that the first direct public consultation regarding the CPF will now take place when the costing of the Growth Plan becomes available.

Future updates

· What’s in an Environmental Statement?

· What’s a pre?application consultation?

Questions or comments

If anyone has any questions or comments on any of the above, or indeed any aspect of the project, please contact me at – Donnie Campbell, ScottishPower Renewables Community Liaison Officer, Machair, Kilmoluaig in the first instance. My land line telephone number is 220 352, mobile number 07881 983 753 and email donnie@argyllarray.com

Golfing Glory For Tiree Juniors

Tiree has a Tiger Woods in the making with 6-year-old Jack MacCaskill from Vaul becoming the island’s youngest member of Vaul Golf Club to gain junior handicap status.

Last month, at the age of just five, Jack completed three formal rounds of golf to a standard which achieved him a junior handicap of 54 – a first for Vaul Golf Club. An achievement all the more impressive given that Jack only picked up the golf clubs three months ago. But practice makes perfect and over the last couple of months, Jack has been out on the green every day, come rain or shine, perfecting his putting and drive under the watchful eye of his big brother Ben, 12, and dad, John.

Golf Club’s Captain, Alun Jones, is delighted to have such promising young talent on the island: “Here at Vaul Golf Club we take junior membership very seriously – the more juniors you have today, the more full members you have in the future. “Being such a small membership club and with the challenges of our location and population, membership numbers are critical for the Club’s survival and sustainability. It is fantastic news that Jack managed to get his official handicap at the tender age of five and I hope this gives encouragement to other juniors to come and join in especially as membership fees for any pupil at Tiree school are free of charge. Thanks to our Match & Handicap Secretary John MacCaskill for all his hard work & time spent in promoting our new junior section.” And it seems Jack isn’t the only junior going for golfing glory on Tiree. Big brother Ben, 12, and Bernie Smith Jnr, 14, recently achieved Junior Golf Handicaps of 36 and 40 respectively, reviving the club’s junior section.

And on Friday 11 May, Bernie also won the Junior Medal – the first formal handicapped junior competition to be played at Vaul Golf Club in over 15 years. Vaul Golf Club is also delighted to welcome its newest addition to the Junior Section – Dan Johnstone, 11, from Caoles who’ll be playing for his junior handicap in the coming weeks. Ed Hodge, PR & Media Executive, Scottish Golf Union added “It’s always great to hear about young people getting involved and joining in the game as part of a healthy lifestyle. It’s also great to hear of success stories, so well done to Jack, Ben & Bernie.”

Situated on the east end of the island, Vaul Golf Club welcomes golfers, young and old, to join. Visitors to the island are also invited to pick up their putter and head to Vaul to enjoy a hassle-free round of golf against Tiree’s stunning backdrop. Simply pay your day ticket in the clubhouse ‘Honesty Box’ before hitting the green.

For further information visit the Vaul Golf Club Website.

Argyll Array Project Update #28 – June 2012

Scottish Power Renewables logoPublic Information Day 2012

The SPR Public Information Day for 2012 will be held in the autumn, on a date yet to be fixed. There will be a number of SPR staff on hand to give information on such issues as the implications of the new project timetable, the process of preparing our Environmental Statement and any other matters raised on the day.

There will also be direct consultation on the options for the location of the wind farm converter station. As announced earlier in the year, SPR is currently minded to site the converter station off-shore. However, after consultation with the Tiree Trust, it was decided to present more detailed implications of siting the facility either offshore or on-shore in Tiree.

There are advantages and disadvantages to the island of each option and the information and discussion at the Public Information Day will assist in the making of the final decision. I hope to be able to provide details of the date, venue etc for the day in the near future.

Tiree RESET Fund

An important part of SPR’s liaison and engagement in Tiree has been to highlight the potential economic and social benefit to people in Tiree of employment in the renewable energy sector and to encourage access to the skills, education and training needed for such employment.

During SPR’s discussions earlier in the year with the Tiree Trust regarding the future establishment of a Community Partnership Fund, it was agreed that a separate fund for Renewable Energy Skills, Education and Training (RESET) be established immediately.

The intention is for this to be funded by SPR on an annual basis and available from this year until a final investment decision is made on the project in 2016/17 after which a more broadly based skills fund with a remit beyond Tiree, could operate. For 2012/13 a total of £10,000 will be made available from SPR to the fund for people who attended secondary school in Tiree and/or are currently living in Tiree.

Whilst it is anticipated that a number of recipients of funding will be those in the 16-22 age group attending university or college, it should be emphasised that the fund is not restricted to those candidates. The fund is designed to help people of all ages and of all aspirations to gain qualifications that will help in getting employment in the renewable energy sector. A formal invitation to candidates to apply for support from the fund will be published in the next edition of An Tirisdeach on July 6th, along with a copy of the Fund Rules which give full details of the fund objectives, eligibility and the criteria for the award of support.

Basking Shark surveys

As highlighted in a previous update, further work is required to better understand the potential effects of the Argyll Array wind farm on Basking Sharks and Great Northern Divers.

To help inform this work, Basking Shark surveys will be undertaken on behalf of SPR throughout July, August and September of this year, at sea in the wind farm site. These surveys will be similar to those that have been undertaken previously on the site and will feed into the project’s Environmental Statement.

Future updates

· What’s in an Environmental Statement?

· What’s a pre-application consultation?

Questions or comments

If anyone has any questions or comments on any of the above, or indeed any aspect of the project, please contact me at – Donnie Campbell, ScottishPower Renewables Community Liaison Officer, Machair, Kilmoluaig in the first instance. My land line telephone number is 220 352, mobile number 07881 983 753 and email donnie@argyllarray.com

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