The Scottish Land Fund, which is Scottish Government money distributed by the Big Lottery Fund for communities to take ownership of land and assets, has awarded Tiree £141,000 towards buying the former I&F MacLeod shop building in Crossapol which closed down in February 2014.
Tiree Community Development Trust had been exploring the feasibility of a community shop, with paid employees but managed by a committee of volunteers but has now had approval from the funders to offer the shop out for lease to a private business at commercial rates, viewing this as a more sustainable model of community ownership with any profit generated from the rent being reinvested in community projects.
The purchase price of £160,000 has been agreed with the owners, however the total project cost is £173,000, including all fees and a full structural survey and the balance of £32,000 will come from community funds generated by Tilley, the community wind turbine. The agreement also includes a plot of land to the east of the shop which will be retained by the community for future development following consultation.
The opportunity to take on the lease has been previously advertised and is still available, subject to successful completion of the purchase. If you are interested please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 01879 220 074 for more details. Preference will be given to a highly valued community service, ideally a shop.
A closing date for noting interest in the lease has been set for Wednesday 17th June at 5pm. Interested parties will be asked to submit a business plan and a covering letter.
Would you like to buy local Tiree produce on the island?
Would you like to have the option of buying groceries in the West end as well as Scarinish?
Would you like to have a greater say in what products can be bought on Tiree?
If you have answered yes to any of these questions then you are not alone. Of the 190 people who voted in favour of a Tiree Community Shop, below is a summary of the comments made by ‘yes’ voters:
- 28% Another shop is needed/it would be a positive development
- 20% To improve the diversity of choice in products and services
- 18% To provide a localised service to the West end, An Talla and Crossapol
- 9% To encourage more competitive pricing
- 8% To give the community more control/security over this service
- 7% It would create another social hub for the community
- 5% To create paid local jobs and work experience opportunities
- 3% To provide an outlet for promoting/selling local produce
The Tiree Community Development Trust are seeking a team of 10 to 15 volunteers to play a leading role in turning the Tiree Community Shop into a reality and have a direct influence on what form it takes.
We will be hosting a community meeting for anyone who would like to find out more about what is involved in joining the Community Shop Management Committee and what the next steps would be for the project. This meeting will be taking place on Thursday 15th May at 7:30pm at An Talla.
Please RSVP to Lynne Cox, Growth Plan Coordinator at the Trust on 220074 or via email email@example.com
The consultation phase has been taking place during the last week with Community drop-in sessions and meetings with other Tiree retail businesses.
This phase of the feasibility study is set to continue during the next 10 days or so with pre-arranged telephone interviews with those businesses that were unable to meet with Alison and Karen.
If you were unable to make the drop-in session but would still like to have your say then there are questionnaires available at the Co-op for the next few days. The questionnaire will also be available on ‘Surveymonkey’. A link to the survey will be available on the Trust website later this week.
For the next stage the consultants will be spending some time analysing the results before commencing the task of preparing the draft report. It is anticipated that the final report will be ready to present to the community by mid-January.
Meanwhile if you have any queries or require further information please contact Jackie at the Trust on 220974 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
With financial support from the Big Lottery, the Trust has appointed Allanpark Consultants Ltd to help the Community Shop Steering Group prepare a feasibility study into the Community owning and operating a community shop.
The consultants – Alison Smith and Karen Anderson have already commenced their work and will be contacting some of the retail businesses during this next week. Alison and Karen have also arranged to visit Tiree for a few days next week during which time they will hold two community consultation events.
The first one is from6-8pm on the 21st November in An Talla and the other from 10am –1pm on Saturday 23rd November at the Rural Centre.
Alison, the lead consultant, says that these events will be designed to be drop-in, allowing you to pop in any time, and promises that they won’t take up too much of your time. Please put one of these dates in your diary. For those who can’t make either of these sessions, then they will also set up a Facebook page and Twitter account inviting people to contribute their views online.
Karen says that they hope that using these different approaches will mean that they can reach as many people as possible. Meanwhile if you have any queries or requests for further information please contact Jackie at the Trust on 220974 or email email@example.com
For the past thirty-eight years we have worked to serve the community of Tiree, but now we have decided to close our doors and enjoy our retirement.
Our business has been on the market for the past two years and while we’ve had some strong interest, the economic climate has made it hard for us to find a suitable successor. We propose to close the shop on Saturday 24th October 2013 unless the business is sold before then.
While it has been a difficult and emotional decision to retire, we would like to take this opportunity to thank all our loyal customers for their support through our long and fulfilling career.
Ian & Fiona MacLeod
For all property enquiries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://tireebusinessforsale.wordpress.com