Green Light for Second Affordable Housing Project at Ulva Ferry, Isle of Mull

Mull and Iona Community Trust, working with Ulva School Community Association, has secured a grant of £156,865.51 from the Scottish Land Fund to realise a second affordable housing project at Ulva Ferry on the Isle of Mull.

MICT and USCA successfully delivered two affordable houses at Ulva Ferry in 2017, increasing the number of children in the area by 40% and working age adults by 10%, thus strengthening Ulva Primary School’s roll, and the overall sustainability of the community. Despite this success, there is a continued need for affordable long-term rental housing in this remote area of Mull, which is essential for the continued sustainability of the community. The Scottish Land Fund award will cover the majority of the cost of the purchase of a plot at Ulva Ferry, along with half of the staffing costs to appoint a project officer.

This project will deliver 4 more houses across two sites at Ulva Ferry, which will be offered as secure, long-term let, via an allocation process, and at an affordable rent. Extensive feasibility work carried out over the winter months confirmed that there was a particular shortage of housing for working age couples and families, and local businesses were struggling to recruit and retain staff as a direct result.

USCA, and the wider Ulva Ferry community, will be at the heart of the project as it develops – having the opportunity to be involved in the whole decision process from the design of the houses to the allocation policy. Funding towards the build costs will be sought from grant sources including the Rural Housing Fund, set up by the Scottish Government in 2016 to increase the supply of affordable housing of all tenures in rural Scotland.

MICT General Manager, Moray Finch, commented, ‘we are delighted to receive this grant from the Scottish Land Fund, which will enable us to deliver a second housing project for Ulva Ferry. In such rural areas provision of affordable housing is key to securing wider social and economic benefits for the community as a whole’.

USCA Convenor, Josh Liddle, added, ‘affordable housing remains the top priority at Ulva Ferry, and this project will ensure there will be more pupils in the school, more working age adults to boost local businesses and a stronger community overall – we can’t wait to start building again!’.

For more information, please contact Helen MacDonald, Housing Project Officer, by email: hmacdonald@mict.co.uk or on 01680 812 900.

 

NOTE TO EDITORS
The Scottish Land Fund reopened to applications in April 2016. The programme is funded by the Scottish Government and delivered in partnership by the Big Lottery Fund and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, both of which have extensive experience of helping communities to acquire and develop their assets for over a decade. The SLF Committee was appointed following the normal procedures for public appointments.

The BIG Lottery Fund distributes lottery funding to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK. It also uses its expertise in grant-giving to distribute non-Lottery funding. Full details of the BIG Lottery Fund programmes and grant awards are available on the website: http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk. BIG Lottery Fund Public Enquiries Line call: 0300 123 7110.

Mull and Iona Community Trust was formed in 1997 and is one of more than 200 Development Trusts across Scotland. MICT is involved in a wide variety of services and projects, ranging from a dementia singing group to a £1million hydro electric scheme.

Ulva School Community Association was formed in 2011 to give Ulva Ferry residents a say in the future plans for the area. The Association grew out of the successful fight to save the local primary school from closure. The USCA Committee now work with MICT to jointly deliver local development projects including community transport, a pontoon and shore facilities, and affordable housing.

11th August 2018