Category Archives: Latest Stories

Tìr Ìseal nan Òran (Tiree low land of song)

June will be an exciting month for the Tìr Ìseal nan Òran (Tiree: low land of song) project, with the the multi-media performance and two community events. We invite you to join us for all these events to celebrate Tiree’s stories.

Tìr Ìseal Multi-media Performance, Thurs 16 June @ 19:00

Our multi-media performance will take place on Thurs 16 June at 19:00 in An Talla, with dramatised retellings of some of the project stories by the young people of Tiree Primary and High School & Oban High School, original music and song created for the project by Ian Smith, Seonaidh Macintyre and Angus MacPhail, and film by Jack Lockhart, in a production devised and directed by Douglas Roberts.

This performance is free to attend. If you want to ensure that you have ‘ringside’ seats, we will be operating an advance seat reservation service and information about that will be available soon at www.tir-iseal.co.uk. There will also be a raffle at the performance and we welcome donations of suitable prizes – message 07943 667673.

Tiree Stories and the Argyll Papers, Sat 4 June @ 19:30

On Sat 4 June at 19:30 in An Talla, we will be presenting the project stories and the original archive sources which show their historical context. The selection of documents will include James Turnbull’s amazing and beautiful plan and written survey as well as many other unique and fascinating original documents from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

Please note that under 16s need to be accompanied by an adult.

Tìr Ìseal Cèilidh, Sat 11 June @ 19:30

Please join us for the Tìr Ìseal Cèilidh, a traditional cèilidh on Sat 11 June at 19:30 in An Talla – bring a song, a tune or a story to share in a relaxed and informal atmosphere. BYOB.

Please note that under 16s need to be accompanied by an adult.

Tìr Ìseal nan Òran is supported by the Year of Stories 2022 Community Stories Fund. This fund is being delivered in partnership between VisitScotland and Museums Galleries Scotland with support from National Lottery Heritage Fund thanks to National Lottery players. We are very grateful for the support of Argyll Estates, Historic Environment Support Fund, the National Lottery through Creative Scotland, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Argyll & Bute Council Supporting Communities Fund, Clan Campbell Education Foundation, Inc., CHARTS Argyll and Isles, Tiree Community Windfall Fund, Pamela Campbell Bickford, Martha McKinnon and Elizabeth Kraus.

Superfast Broadband At Risk of Sinking in Tiree

Tiree Broadband

Tiree Community Broadband (CIT Ltd) are calling on Openreach to provide them with a Fibre to the Premises connection for their network access point which sits less than 20 metres from the island exchange.

CIT Ltd, with the support of Tiree Community Development Trust and Tiree Community Council are asking for an urgent review of Openreach’s approach to fibre provision in Tiree after being refused the connection.

CIT Ltd are an island based community broadband company who operate not-for-profit. They have been running since 2005 to cover households without suitable internet and ensure the best possible connections for island residents. It became clear very late in the day that the proposed R100 Superfast Broadband scheme for Tiree would have large gaps in provision.

As the R100 is not due to arrive in Tiree until 2024, residents are eligible for a voucher to help them access 30MB speeds. The only possible provider would be the community broadband company. Following a review of their network, which runs at 10MB and is already at capacity, Tiree Broadband have said that offering 30MB speeds is not possible based on the current infrastructure.

The key issue is that Openreach is unwilling to provide Tiree Broadband with direct access to a fibre connection (Fibre to the Premises). Because of this the company is forced to juggle multiple domestic copper lines to provide a service to their customers.

Chair of Tiree Broadband, Rhoda Meek said, “Now that we are aware of the final R100 rollout plans and the gaps in it, we see that we are once again forced to try and upgrade our network to cover the lack of basic provision. Unfortunately, we have reached the end of the road with sticky tape and string solutions. To support additional speeds, we need Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) for Tiree Broadband. Despite multiple pleas over a number of years, Openreach is unwilling to provide that.

“We are currently forced to serve the island using multiple domestic copper lines. To give you an idea of our challenges, our last 3 line installations took 3 months from the point of order. We serve 280 households on the equivalent of 12 domestic lines.”

The island exchange is less than 20 metres away from our network access point, complete with a connecting duct, and yet we are unable to access a full fibre service. It is frustrating to say the least.”

Fibre to the Premises connections already exist in Tiree, having been given to multiple mobile phone companies, the NATs radar service and the school. On one site, the fibre is run to a mobile phone mast less than 90 feet from a Tiree Broadband access point.

Meek concluded, “The fact that the final R100 roll out will not cover all properties in Tiree with fibre is bad enough, but to refuse us access to a commercial fibre connection – when we are the group covering the gaps in provision – is outrageous. We are calling on politicians of all parties to support us in trying to rectify this situation.”

Council Confirms Event and Festival Funding

Funding to support events and festivals that will boost economic growth in Argyll and Bute has been approved by the Council’s Policy and Resources Committee.

Eleven events across culture, sport and the arts will receive support totalling £95,300 from Round 4 of the Council’s Strategic Events and Festivals Fund (SEF).

These are:

• Cowal Highland Gathering

• Gathering of Cowal Clans

• Helensburgh Winter Festival

• Highlands & Islands Music & Dance Festival

• Inveraray Highland Games

• Jura Music Festival

• Mull of Kintyre Music and Arts Festival

• Mull Rally

• Tarbert Seafood Festival

• Tiree Wave Classic

• West Highland Yachting Week

Councillors also agreed to make remaining SEF funds, estimated to be £55,000, available to apply for.

Councillor Robin Currie, Policy Lead for Economic Growth said: “Events and festivals have played an important part in the economic health of Argyll and Bute in past years. The Covid pandemic however has dealt this sector a hard blow. “These funding awards are all about supporting the recovery of the local events and festivals industry and through it, the growth of local economies across Argyll and Bute.”

Information on how to apply for the next round of funding will be available on the council’s website and social media channels at the end of February, for applications to be returned by the end of April.

Crofting Commission Announces Significant Staff Expansion

crofting commission

The Crofting Commission has announced an expansion to their staffing.

The increased staff numbers will work on processing crofting regulatory applications for the Non Departmental Public Body.

Speaking today, Malcolm Mathieson, Convenor of the Crofting Commission said: “I warmly welcome the new members of staff to the Commission and look forward to working with them in the future. We have worked hard to recruit staff who are of a very high calibre to support and enhance our current team.” “With these new members of staff we will see a 40% increase in our regulatory team; once our new team members are fully trained this will make a significant and positive change. We know that crofters are currently experiencing an additional wait for regulatory applications, which I understand is frustrating for many. The Commission is committed to addressing this issue.”

“Many of this month’s new staff will be working in remote rural communities throughout the crofting counties. They will undergo significant training over the next few months to support the Commission in becoming far more efficient and effective in processing regulatory applications.”

Adding to Malcolm’s comments, Bill Barron, Chief Executive said: “I’m delighted to welcome our new members of staff to the Commission, many of whom are starting immediately. These new team members will go a long way to meet the recommendations of the recent independent review of staffing; which highlighted that we required far more staff to be effective in our regulatory work.” “Over the coming months there will be more progress within the Commission to support our aim of becoming more efficient at dealing with regulatory casework. The new members of staff starting today are part of a comprehensive plan to improve response times.”

Tìr Ìseal nan Òran (Tiree: low land of song)

We’re delighted to announce the launch of Tìr Ìseal nan Òran (Tiree: low land of song) which will be an island-wide creative project, taking place as part of Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022, which aims to celebrate and promote Tiree’s stories, heritage, culture and Gaelic language.

At the heart of the project are seven stories from the island’s history, traditions and mythology which will be explored within their physical and historical contexts to inspire new creative work. Local artists, young people, the wider Tiree community and an international audience will all be invited to take part in exploring and re-telling these stories through a mixture of traditional music and song, film and photography, theatre and writing, and Gaelic and English. There will be lots of different ways for local people and global audiences to get involved with and learn about Tiree’s stories, heritage, culture and the Gaelic language. Highlights to look forward to include:

• Jack Lockhart’s animated film of James Turnbull’s 18th century full-colour illustrated plan of Tiree and new music and song from Ian Smith and Angus MacPhail.

• Creative writing in English and Gaelic from Tiree’s young people and a new ‘Tiree Tapestry’ from the Tiree folk overseas.

• Exhibitions, workshops and presentations which will introduce original archive documents and artefacts. The first is an online talk by Raghnall Macille Dhuibh (Ronald Black) on ‘Sgeulachdan Tiristeach Iain Mhic an Deòir’ (John Dewar’s Tiree Stories) – Tues 8 February @ 19:30 GMT via Zoom. This talk will be presented in Gaelic with simultaneous translation into English. Email tir.iseal@gmail.com to book your place

• A multi-media theatre performance, delivered with Tiree School students on 16 June 2022. The young people will participate in a dramatic interpretation of the stories which will include music and song in Gaelic and English and we are planning additional workshops and performance opportunities as part of Fèis Thiriodh and Tiree Music Festival.

• A dedicated website (www.tir-iseal.co.uk) launching at the end of February 2022, where we will publish the new writing, music, song and film created in response to the stories.

Tìr Ìseal nan Òran is supported by the Year of Stories 2022 Community Stories Fund. This fund is being delivered in partnership between VisitScotland and Museums Galleries Scotland with support from National Lottery Heritage Fund thanks to National Lottery players. It is also supported by Argyll Estates, Historic Environment Support Fund, the National Lottery through Creative Scotland, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Argyll & Bute Council Supporting Communities Fund, Clan Campbell Education Foundation, Inc., CHARTS Argyll and Isles, Pamela Campbell Bickford, Martha McKinnon and Elizabeth Kraus.

Offshore wind impact could be similar to oil and gas sector, says HIE

The economic impact of the offshore wind industry in the Highlands and Islands could be similar to that of historic oil and gas developments, according to Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

The agency has welcomed today’s ScotWind offshore wind leasing round announcement by Crown Estate Scotland. 25GW of new developments are planned in Scotland, many of which will be in waters off the coast of the Highlands and Islands. HIE says the announcement heralds in an exciting new era of major expansion for the sector in the region. It is expected to lead to the creation of many new jobs as well as the world’s first floating offshore wind supply chain, manufacturing many of the components required for floating projects. There is also the added potential for Scotland to become an exporter of offshore wind technology beyond 2030. The growth in offshore wind is expected to be instrumental in attracting new young talent to the Highlands and Islands. Welcoming the announcement, HIE’s chief executive, Stuart Black said: “The inclusion of large floating wind developments in this round will make Scotland a world leader in the development of floating wind.

Having the bulk of these projects in the Highland and Islands emphasises the natural advantages of our region, which will be firmly at the forefront of global offshore wind development. “As a result, we can expect many new, highly skilled offshore wind related jobs to be created in some of our more rural and island communities. We believe the economic impacts of the offshore wind industry will be along similar lines to what we saw 40 or so years ago with oil and gas developments and will help create the conditions for a just transition for both the Highlands and Islands, and the climate. “The sheer scale of what has been announced today will accelerate the development of our industries of the future such as green hydrogen production from offshore wind, creating further new, green , fair work in our island and coastal communities.” The ScotWind announcement follows news in December of a planned state-of-the- art £110m wind tower factory at Nigg in Easter Ross, in which HIE is investing up to £10m.

With ScotWind comes the potential for long term jobs in operation and maintenance (O&M) involving many more ports and harbours across the region. The announcement represents a huge opportunity of historic scale for the Highlands and Islands with new offshore wind developments coming to the west and north coasts and islands. Working closely with its partners, stakeholders, and industry HIE is determined secure the jobs and significant economic and community benefit that should arise from these developments.

Stuart Black continued: “There will be opportunities to build on the £67m investments we have already made alongside industry to prepare the region’s ports and harbours for the huge expansion of the offshore wind sector. “We’re looking to build on already supported developments, such as the transformational O&M base projects at Wick and Buckie Harbours and are now working with local authorities, harbour operators, and developers to help bring new similar projects to the wider region.”

Scottish islanders launch community-first accommodation platform

Isle Develop CIC, the social enterprise behind the popular isle20.com shopping site in the Scottish islands has launched their latest project – isleHoliday.com – a community focussed holiday lettings website.

The project aims to ensure that more of the revenue generated by tourism in the islands stays in island communities. Profits from the commission based structure will be reinvested in small businesses, community and housing projects throughout the islands.

Rhoda Meek, founder of Isle Develop CIC said, “The housing problems caused by the short term letting market in the islands are well documented. It will take time to change that situation and involve action at a local and national Government level. “But – in the meantime, the letting market exists. Our goal is to use it to generate revenue which can be used to the benefit of our communities – particularly in relation to affordable housing and long term rental options for residents.”

isleHoliday will list holiday lets from across the Scottish islands, allowing visitors to book and make payments, but that’s where the similarity with other platforms ends. Rhoda continued, “When you book your holiday house through isleHoliday, 100% of the profit will go back into our island communities. “At Isle Develop, all of our Directors and staff are islanders – we know our Bernerays from our Burras! By working together with accommodation providers and local organisations we can offer rich information about island life before visitors arrive; from driving on single track roads to public facilities, events and great local businesses to visit during their stay. “Visitors will have a better experience if we correctly set their expectations. Our islands are not empty wildernesses waiting to be discovered. They are full of heritage and history, present and we hope, future. Those are gems well worth discovering.

“We want to put faces to places and start to change the narrative from destination first, to community first.”

Tiree Association Annual Gathering Events Return In 2021!

The Tiree Association are delighted to announce the line-up of our 121st Annual Gathering events which are set to take place in November.

Having missed last year’s event due to Covid-19 we are very pleased that the relaxation of event restrictions will allow us to host this year’s event. Having said that, we would like to ensure attendees that all precautions are being taken to ensure both events are as safe as can be. This year’s Annual Gathering Concert will take place on Thursday 18th of November in the Kingsborough Garden Sanctuary, which is located at 79 Hyndland Road (G12 9JE).

We have an impressive list of performers including fellow Tiristich Mary Ann Kennedy and Jamie MacDonald, who will be joined by his Eabhal band mate and singer Kaitlin Ross. This year’s male Gold Medal winner, John Joe MacNeil will also perform and accompanist Kathryn Callender who will lead us in a song or two.

The Chairperson for the night is Ian Lamont, who has strong links to Tiree. Friday the 19th of November will see the return of our Annual Gathering Dance, which is always a night not to be missed.

Gunna Sound will be providing the music, with lead accordionist Campbell Brown and singing sensation Johnny Scoular set to entertain us for the night in the usual venue of the Glasgow University Union.

Tickets for each event are priced at £10 each and need to be prebooked prior to each event, which will help us manage capacity and track and trace details. To do so you can contact us via email – thetireeassociation@gmail.com, Facebook messenger or voicemail/text service on the following number 07763126309 and let us know how many tickets you are looking for, names and contact details. As already mentioned, the committee have very much missed hosting events and catching up with all our members and friends and we look forward to welcoming you all back to our Gathering events in November. If you have any further questions, please get in touch using any of the details above.

Tiree 10k and Half Marathon

Saturday 18th September saw runners gather across Gott Bay for the second time that month.

This time it was for the start of the Tiree 10k & Half Marathon. As runners edged towards a rough start line drawn in the sand, the atmosphere was tense with nerves and also the excitement of finally being there. It was a new course with most of it off-road and new course records to lay down.

So with the Tiree Pipe Band drumming up the atmosphere the stage was set. “I was really pleased to take the event to a new location this year” said Will Wright, race organiser. “I think the beaches and the rough ground add an extra challenge, runners love that! And we had a great team of marshals so there was someone at every corner cheering the runners on. All these things mean so much, and it really pushes people along when the going gets tough.”

The runners set off along Gott Bay towards Ruaig, and then up the road towards Salum. Sandy footprints eventually emerged at the Vaul corner heading south past the golf course to Gott Bay. Not quite up to distance the runners had to run to the far end of Gott Bay to a turnaround point – marked by surf boards in the sand – and then to the finish line in front of the Lodge Hotel. And for those running the half marathon, they had to do it all over again!

“There were so many stories of achievement from that day, there was a real sense of doing something positive, and doing it together. And fantastic to see local runners and so many returning friends doing the run. I’ve got to mention my Mum who ran the 10k, still such an inspiration. And of course Maurice – aged 10 – he ran the whole thing in 54mins coming 23rd overall. I was so pleased for him. It was lovely to see Gary Muir (race winner) and Maurice congratulating each other. And kudos to Gary for another podium – the top step this time! ”

There were 135 finishers that day, with each one proudly wearing their T-Shirt and medal and feeling part of Team Tiree.

“Big thank yous to everyone who helped at the events this year – the event team, the Lodge, the sponsors and all the runners and the community of Tiree – this is what makes these days so special. Thank you.”

Full results and details of 2022 events can be found at www.tireefitness.co.uk

Tiree Sea Tours – Sea Tour Operator of the Year

Saturday 4th September, Frazer MacInnes and Kris Milne travelled to the Norton House Hotel & Spa outside of Edinburgh for the Prestige Awards run by Corporate Livewire after being awarded the well deserved Scotland’s Sea Tour Operators of 2021-22.

Tiree Sea Tours were contacted back in February 2020 on a Friday regarding the nomination. In April 2020 they were notified they’d won the award, following the positive comments received on their social media.

Frazer said, “We’re absolutely delighted to have won our first award and hopefully the first of many,” Kris said “It’s good to feel a wee bit of recognition for the work put into the Sea Tours, we’re both quite pleased,”

Tiree Sea Tours were first established in February 2018 by uncle and nephew team Donnie and Frazer MacInnes after realising there was a gap in the market. Since the tours establishment, they make trips to Skerryvore Lighthouse, Fingal’s Cave, Lunga, Iona, Coll and Tobermory as well as host SeaFari’s, fishing and boat charting.

For more information, you can follow Tiree Sea Tours through the social media listed below:

WWW.TIREESEATOURS.COM

Email: info@tireeseatours.com

Booking office 07788810623

https://m.facebook.com/tireeseatours

https://www.instagram.com/tireeseatours/

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