Commenting on weekend news coverage about Gigha and its business plans, David Cameron, Chair of Community Land Scotland said,
“As community owners continue to try and turn round the fortunes of their communities from the rundown private estates they inherited, they are making significant investments.
Community owners, which are multi-faceted businesses of scale, have to finance important investments on the road to build a better future. Like any business or household some of that investment may be financed by borrowing and from time to time they will revisit their business plans in light of changing circumstances.
The Heritage Trust are in process of re-focussing their business plans and have been getting some help from HIE in thinking this through. There is nothing particularly unusual in this. This is all going to the community for approval, so all of the detail is in public, and that is the nature of democratically owned community land owning companies.
The Chair of the company wants to know that she has support to deliver the proposed plans so I understand that she has chosen to put this as a vote of confidence to the community, to seek to give her the necessary backing to lead the delivery of the plans. Would that private owners subject themselves and their plans to such scrutiny and a vote of confidence in their management.
The community in Gigha has been doing quite outstanding work in the process of seeking to deliver economic recovery of their island, renovating what were houses in appalling condition, growing the population, generating new income streams from renewables and other business developments.
I wish them well as they continue their work for an ever better future.”
Here is a short list of things achieved on Gigha so far:
Population increase from 98 to 170
18 new social houses built on the island
12 new private houses built on the island
Significant refurbishment of homes and other properties
UK’s first grid connected and community owned windfarm established which has generated c.£800,000 towards re-investment in the island over the years
New petrol pumps
Historic Achamore Gardens restored
Children’s playpark created
10 new businesses established on the island
Years of disinvestment, being reversed.