Monday, November 18, 2019
The skye times mobile
At the turf cutting ceremony on the new Kilbeg housing sites are (from left) Steven Gregg, Highland Small Communities Housing Trust; Cllr Audrey Sinclair, The Highland Council; Prof Boyd Robertson, Principal, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig; John Swinney, Deputy First Minister; Angus MacDonald, James MacQueen Building Contractors; and Dr Donnie Munro, Development Director, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig

 

Construction of two new affordable homes will begin shortly at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig through The Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust’s Rent to Buy Scheme.

The Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust (HSCHT) is working in partnership with Sabhal Mòr Ostaig (SMO) to provide two sustainable low-cost homes for rent and then purchase next to the College in Kilbeg, Skye. This is the first stage of an exciting wider development which is strongly supported by the Scottish Government, The Highland Council and Highlands & Islands Enterprise. It is anticipated the scheme will provide a varied range of housing and commercial opportunities over the next few years to enhance the campus facilities and to create a more vibrant, sustainable community.

Dr. Donnie Munro, Director of Development, Fundraising and the Arts at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig said: We are delighted to be working with the Highland Small Communities Housing Trust to facilitate the development of these first two houses on the new Kilbeg site and also delighted that the works have been awarded to two local companies. HSCHT has a proven track record of working sensitively and innovatively within economically fragile rural areas throughout the Highlands to provide housing in a manner which takes full account of local need. With Phase 1 of the Kilbeg Development successfully delivered, this is the next step on an exciting journey to creating a sustainable model for a 21st Century Highland village which has Gaelic language and culture very much at its heart. To achieve this, we will work creatively and innovatively through key partnerships to provide affordable housing and enterprise opportunities in the area.

The recent Sleat Housing Needs Survey has been most useful in showing that ...’low cost housing is required, as well as new rental development to keep up with local business growth, such as with Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, and the population increase identified in census data.’ In addition to the first phase of housing, Sabhal Mòr is also currently about to embark upon a full Feasibility Study and Business Plan into providing badly needed facilities for Sports, Recreation, Health and Fitness for the area, as a critical part of the wider Kilbeg development plan.

Ronnie MacRae, Chief Executive Officer, The Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust said: “We are delighted to be working again with James MacQueen Builders Ltd. and R.HOUSE to provide energy-efficient, lower-cost homes in Kilbeg. The Rent to Buy Scheme provides households with the opportunity to rent and then purchase their homes with the aid of a loyalty cash-back amount for their mortgage deposit.

The scheme has proved extremely popular and it has Scottish Government loan funding secured for around sixty homes, spread throughout various communities over a three year period.

Working with Sabhal Mòr Ostaig is an excellent example of how focused partnership working in smaller communities can create positive and significant impacts to address housing shortages in rural areas and also provide a stimulus to the local economy.”

Local construction firm, James MacQueen Builders Ltd. who work alongside Skye based architects Rural Design, has been awarded the contract and they are set to begin work on site shortly. A spokesperson from R.HOUSE, a partnership between

James MacQueen Builders Ltd. and Rural Design stated:“R.HOUSE is dedicated to providing architect designed, energy efficient, low-cost, locally built homes that can endure the rigours of the Highland weather.  We welcomed the opportunity to be involved in this project with Highland Small Communities Housing Trust and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, providing much needed affordable housing as well as a supporting the local Gaelic culture.”

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “It is terrific news to hear that the building of these new homes will start soon at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.  This is another key step in the ongoing growth and development of the college and regeneration of the area.  As well as the housing, these developments include a wide range of benefits for language and education and also for skills and employment. 

I was very pleased to hear about the project at the college earlier this summer and I would like to commend staff and trustees at the college for their commitment and vision in bringing these plans to fruition.”

Funding assistance towards the £6.2m cost of the work done to date at Kilbeg had been provided by the Scottish Funding Council, the Scottish Government, the European Regional Development Fund (Convergence) of the European Union, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, The Highland Council and the Sabhal Mòr Ostaig Development Trust which incorporates the former Highland Fund and Urras na h-Aiseirigh.

Thèid obair togail air dà thaigh air prìs chothromach a thòiseachadh a dh'aithghearr aig Sabhal Mòr Ostaig tron Sgeama Rent to Buy aig Urras Taigheadais Coimhearsnachdan Beaga na Gàidhealtachd.
Tha Urras Taigheadais Coimhearsnachdan Beaga na Gàidhealtachd ag obair an com-pàirteachas le Sabhal Mòr Ostaig airson dà thaigh seasmhach air prìs ìosal a sholarachadh air màl agus an uair sin airson ceannaich ri taobh na Colaiste anns a' Chill Bhig, anns an Eilean Sgitheanach. 'S e seo a' chiad cheum an lùib leasachaidh nas fharsainge a tha a' faighinn taic bho Riaghaltas na h-Alba, Chomhairle na Gàidhealtachd agus Iomairt na Gàidhealtachd is nan Eilean. Thathar an dùil gum faicear grunn chothroman taigheadais is coimeirsealta an lùib an sgeama anns na bliadhnaichean ri teachd a chuireas ri goireasan an ionaid agus anns an tèid coimhearsnachd bheothail is sheasmhach a chruthachadh.
Thuirt Dr. Donaidh Rothach, Stiùiriche Leasachaidh, Maoineachaidh is nan Ealain aig Sabhal Mòr Ostaig: Tha sinn glè thoilichte a bhith ag obair cuide ri Urras Taigheadais Coimhearsnachdan Beaga na Gàidhealtachd airson a' chiad dà thaigh seo air làrach ùr na Cille Bige a leasachadh agus tha sinn cuideachd toilichte gur e dà chompanaidh ionadail a ghabhas an obair os làimh. Tha eòlas dearbhte aig an Urras Taigheadais ann a bhith ag obair gu cùramach agus gu h-innleachdach ann an sgìrean air feadh na Gàidhealtachd far a bheil an eaconamaidh dhùthchail buailteach a bhith caochlaideach airson taigheadas a sholarachadh ann an dòigh a tha a' freagairt air na tha a dhìth san sgìre. 'S e seo an ath cheum, an dèidh coileanadh soirbheachail den chiad ìre de Leasachadh na Cille Bige, air slighe àraid a dh'ionnsaigh modal seasmhach de bhaile Gàidhealach san 21a linn a chruthachadh aig a bheil an cànan agus an cultar na chridhe. Bidh sinn ag obair gu cruthachail agus gu h-innleachdail airson an t-amas seo a choileanadh, tro phrìomh chom-pàirtichean airson cothroman taigheadais is gnìomhachais a thoirt gu buil anns an sgìre.
Tha an sgrùdadh air Easbhaidhean Taigheadais ann an Slèite air a bhith glè fheumail is i a' sealltainn gu bheil ... 'taighean air prìsean cothromach a dhìth, cho math ri leasachaidhean air màl a chumas ceum ri leasachaidhean gnìomhachais san sgìre, a leithid Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, agus ris an àrdachadh ann an àireamh-sluaigh na sgìre a rèir a' chunntais-sluaigh.' A thuilleadh air a' chiad ìre den obair taigheadais, tha Sabhal Mòr Ostaig an impis tòiseachadh air Sgrùdadh agus Plana Gnìomhachais stèidhichte air goireasan air a bheil cruaidh-fheum san sgìre a leithid Spòrs, Cur-seachadan is Slàinte, an lùib plana leasachaidh na Cille Bige.

Thuirt Ronnie MacRath, Àrd-oifigear, Urras Taigheadais Coimhearsnachdan Beaga na Gàidhealtachd:
"Tha sinn uabhasach toilichte gu bheil sinn ag obair còmhla ri James MacQueen Builders Ltd. agus R.HOUSE a-rithist airson dachaighean air cosgaisean nas ìsle a bhios a' caomhnadh cumhachd a thogail anns a' Chill Bhig. Tha an sgeama Rent to Buy a' toirt cothrom do dhaoine taigh fhaighinn air màl agus an uair sin a cheannach le taic suim airgid dìlseachd mu choinneimh na suim tèarainte ro mhorgaids a thaisg iad.
Tha fèill mhòr air a bhith air an sgeama agus tha Riaghaltas na h-Alba air maoineachadh iasaid a dhearbhadh mu choinneimh 60 taigh, am measg grunn choimhearsnachdan airson trì bliadhna.
Tha an co-obrachadh le Sabhal Mòr Ostaig na dheagh eisimpleir air ciamar as urrainn do chom-pàirtichean stèidhichte air coimhearsnachdan beaga buaidh mhath chudromach a dhèanamh a fhreagras ri gainnead thaighean ann an sgìrean dùthchail agus a bhrosnaicheas eaconamaidh na sgìre."
Tha a' chompanaidh togail ionadail, James MacQueen Builders Ltd., a tha ag obair còmhla ris na h-ailtirean Rural Design, air an cùmhnant a ghlèidheadh agus thèid an obair togail a thòiseachadh a dh'aithghearr. Thuirt neach-labhairt R.HOUSE, a tha na chom-pàirteachadh eadar James MacQueen Builders Ltd. agus Rural Design:
"Tha e fa-near do R.HOUSE dachaighean a thogail a tha deasaichte le ailtirean, a tha a' caomhnadh cumhachd, a tha air prìs ìosal, a tha air an togail san sgìre agus a tha freagarrach don t-sìde air a' Ghàidhealtachd. Bha sinn glè thoilichte a thighinn an sàs anns a' phròiseact seo cuide ri Urras Taigheadais Coimhearsnachdan Beaga na Gàidhealtachd agus Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, is sinn a' solarachadh taigheadais air prìsean cothromach agus a' cumail taic ri cultar na Gàidhlig san sgìre."
Thuirt an Leas-phrìomh-mhinistear, Iain Swinney:
"'S e naidheachd mhath dha-rìreabh a th' ann gun tòisich an obair togail air na dachaighean ùra seo aig Sabhal Mòr Ostaig a dh'aithghearr. 'S e seo ceum eile air slighe leasachaidh na Colaiste agus ath-bheothachadh eaconamaidh na sgìre. A thuilleadh air na taighean fhèin, thig iomadh buannachd dha cànan is foghlam, cho math ri sgilean is obraichean, an cois nan leasachaidhean seo.
Chòrd am fiosrachadh a chuala mi mun phròiseact rium nuair a bha mi aig a' cholaiste as t-samhradh agus bu mhath leam luchd-obrach is urrasairean na colaiste a mholadh airson an cuid dealais is lèirsinn is iad a' toirt nam planaichean seo gu buil."

Fhuaireas taic-airgid le cosgaisean £6.2m airson Ìre 1 den leasachadh aig a' Chill Bhig bho Chomhairle Mhaoineachaidh na h-Alba, Riaghaltas na h-Alba, Mhaoin Leasachaidh Roinnean na h-Eòrpa (Convergence) aig an Aonadh Eòrpach, Iomairt na Gàidhealtachd is nan Eilean, Chomhairle na Gàidhealtachd agus Urras Leasachaidh Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, a tha a' gabhail a-steach Maoin na Gàidhealtachd a chleachd a bhith ann agus Urras na h-Aiseirigh.

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