SOCIAL ENTERPRISE OF THE MONTH
Glendale is the most Westerly area of Skye and is home to Neist Point with its lighthouse and unusual shore-line rock formations, the flat topped mountains known as MacLeod's Tables and the famous Three Chimneys Restaurant. But despite this impressive list of attractions the majority of young people move away from the area after finishing school and there are few job prospects to attract young people and families to the area.
The Glendale Trust was formed in 2007 in recognition of this and to help bring about the area's regeneration. Soon after the group secured funding to employ a development officer who would work up a sustainable community growth plan for the area based on the needs and wishes of the community.
One of the first large scale projects for the group is the preservation and development of Meanish pier and slipway which lies at the heart of Glendale at Meanish point. This is seen as an important potential growth area for community use and economic development. The community took ownership of the facility from the Highland Council in 2014. Plans for this project include renewal of the slipway, deep water moorings, heritage interpretation boards, seating, a toilet and shower block and improved parking. The next stage is the development of a business plan to help take this forward and HISEZ has been working with the Trust on this.
Another ambitious project which compliments the Meanish Pier development is the essential Borrodale School project. The Trust has very recently purchased the school from the Highland Council after it closed down in 2010. The building will be used to provide affordable housing, a bunkhouse with a bar/restaurant, a heritage exhibition, a children's play area and a community laundrette.
Recognising the importance of digital infrastructure the Trust are also leading a North Skye broadband project which aims to provide superfast broadband connectivity for the whole north end of Skye. A regular farmers market, community transport project, and IT and Broadband workshops are also on the Trust's agenda.
Local Development Officer with the Glendale Trust Elgar Finlay said: "Our community's regeneration will not happen overnight but we are making good progress. Although we are at a stage of requesting funding to progress our plans we have every hope that we can make these sustainable in the not too distant future and be able to generate an income and to create jobs. These are our key drivers."
To find out more about the Glendale Trust and their plans, see their website