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Chairmans Report AGM 20th November 2012

URRAS TAC CHALANAIS

Chairmans Report – November 2012

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Having come to our sixth Annual General Meeting the Chairman & Committee of Urras Tac Chalanais take this opportunity to thank all the members for their ongoing support in this exciting venture of the development of the land gifted to us, Tac Chalanais.

DEVELOPMENT OF THE LAND: The development of the land is our ongoing main priority and we continue to aspire towards our initial goal, that is, the main campsite development at Bratanais, despite being turned down last year by the Big Lottery for the main funding. However we continue to focus on the Camping Pod project and community pathways. We also hope to further explore the possibility of self catering chalets, marine tourism, renewable sources of energy as well as opening up of an access at the North end of the Tac to provide house sites. All these would hopefully generate work and be beneficial to the community in creating local employment.

CAMPING POD PROJECT: This innovative exciting project to situate Camping Pods at various locations on the farm is now fully funded and ready to go. The total project cost is £70,000 and is fully funded. Although the aim had been to have the Pods in situ for the 2012 season our plans were delayed due to issues raised by Historic Scotland and meeting requirements of the Planning Department of the Council. We are pleased to report that planning has now been approved subject to meeting certain conditions. These will be the first of their kind in the area and will provide a steady stream of income for UTC

LOCAL DEVELOPMENT OFFICER: John Smith, our Local Development Officer, continues to work tirelessly to source funding and is to be commended for having the fully funded Pod project in place and ready to commence. He continues to work towards achieving the targets agreed in the HIE Growth Plan. The LDO post is due to finish in June 2013 but may briefly be extended if HIE budgets allow, although we will be looking to source funding to continue the post. He will update you on the ongoing work in his own report.

FUNDING: Funding was secured from various bodies, such as, LEADER, CNES, Lottery Awards for All, CNAG, The Scottish Community Foundation, Breasclete Community Association and Breasclete Community Council. Due to the Camping Pods innovative nature it was the only project in Lewis which attracted funding from LEADER in the last round of funding. We are very grateful to all these contributing bodies, without whom we would be unable to proceed. Our applications for funding will be given in more detail by the Local Development Officer

ACCOUNTS MANAGER: The Chairman and Local Development officer have had meetings with Lewis Mackenzie our Accounts Manager from HIE and he was satisfied with our Growth Plan progress.

LOCAL FUNDRAISING:  In the last year we have not held any fundraising events. The Committee would be pleased to hear any fundraising ideas you may have in order to raise funds locally

ANIMAL GRAZING/USE OF THE LAND – Members are encouraged to make use of the land. Management procedures will be reviewed to enable smooth running of land grazings and payments for 2013.

COMMUNITY PATHWAYS: All funding has now been secured for the Community Pathways project and the planning application is being assessed at Council Committee on 27th November. If approved the pathway work may commence in December 2012. This will fulfil one of the Growth Plan outcomes.

COMMUNITY CONSULTATION: A community consultation was conducted for the Camping Pod Project and the Community Pathways and a very favourable response was received from the Community. These projects are now fully funded and ready to start.

WEBSITE: The community should be aware of our website, which can be accessed at www.callanishfarmtrust.co.uk     It provides updates of UTC activities throughout the year.

ELECTION:  Four people have resigned from the Board of Directors this year, namely, Iain A R Maciver, Sheena Macleod, Wendy McCann and Calum Macleod.  We thank them for their contribution during their time on the Committee. Two nominations have been received, namely, Angus Smith and James Crossley, who we welcome onto the Committee.

FUTURE PROSPECTS: Urras Tac Chalanais Board of Directors with assistance from the Local Development Officer and support from its members will continue to strive towards the development of the land and seek to establish and further progress all the projects that have been successfully funded. The Camping Pod project will provide a sustainable income which can be reinvested in future UTC projects and should benefit the community as a whole and strengthen the local economy.

We look to you as the residents of Callanish to support the Committee in their aspirations and also to bring your own views or ideas to any member of the Committee for discussion at the meetings. Remember it is your land!

 

Chairman  Malcolm Mackay