The community of Ulva and Mull have launched a fundraising appeal to help raise the much needed funds towards the community buyout of the Isle of Ulva.
North West Mull Community Woodland Company lodged the bid to buy the island and the community now needs to raise funds to support the buyout. Nicola Sturgeon announced that Scottish Ministers have approved the halt of the sale of Ulva which now gives NWMCWC eight months to raise the purchase price.
Locals are hoping to see the population of Ulva increase and they would like to re-invigorate the economy and social fabric of the island. Rebecca Munro, one of the 6 residents on the island, spoke of her hopes from the buyout: “It’s just such a lovely place to bring up children. We have such an excellent primary school at Ulva Ferry and the children have a freedom that they wouldn’t get elsewhere,” she said.
“The idea that we could bring more people back and support the school at the same time would be lovely. When [Rhuri] was growing up they had Burns suppers and Christmas parties there in the church, and it would be nice to get that heart back into the place.
“When you walk around and you see the ruins and the houses still there but empty, you get a sense of what it could be like again. Just to get people and families and young people back in the empty houses would make such a difference.”
Land Reform Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “The Isle of Ulva is steeped in history and rich in wildlife. At its height Ulva had over 800 residents and now has only a handful, a story which is unfortunately all too common to many of our island communities.
“The North West Mull Community Woodland Company is the first organisation to use community right to buy powers to register interest in buying an island.
“One of the group’s key objectives is to increase Ulva’s population and other small communities should take encouragement from the group’s ambitious plans.”