The Knoydart Foundation is a company limited by guarantee with charitable status. The community buyout came to fruition in March 1999. I in 2009 the Foundation celebrated its10th anniversary. The company is a partnership of local residents, the Highland Council, Chris Brasher Trust, the Kilchoan Estate and the John Muir Trust. It aims to preserve, enhance and develop Knoydart for the well being of the environment and the people.
Aims of the Foundation
The Foundation aims to manage the Knoydart Estate as an area of employment and settlement on the Knoydart Peninsula without detriment to its natural beauty and character and to seek and encourage the preservation of its landscape, wildlife, natural resources, culture and rural heritage.
Below is a summary of the Foundation?s objectives extracted from the Company’s Memorandum of Association :
- To conserve and preserve the character and natural beauty of the Knoydart Peninsula for the benefit of the public to enjoy and study in keeping with the views of the local population.
- To foster and encourage appreciation and interest in the peninsula and to allow access and opportunities for recreation all year round without detriment to the conservation, protection and careful management which the area requires and deserves.
- To encourage and develop a spirit of voluntary commitment by individuals, corporate bodies and any other groups of people willing to assist in achieving the Foundation’s objectives.
- To relieve the poverty of the unemployed inhabitants of the Knoydart Peninsula by providing or assisting in finance and opportunities for employment and appropriate training or retraining.
- To promote the benefit of the inhabitants of the peninsula without distinction of political, religious or other opinions in a common effort with the inhabitants and other organisations with a view to improving living conditions.
Directors, Staff and Volunteers
The Foundation currently has 8 Directors, 9 staff and benefits from lots of community volunteer input.
Housing is a big priority for the Foundation. When the estate was bought, the Foundation inherited 5 properties, all of them extremely run down. Over the last 11 years the Foundation has worked to improve housing on Knoydart through a combination of :
- Upgrading existing housing
- Developing new housing
- Working with partners e.g. Lochaber Housing Association
- Selling land for homes through a shared equity option
- The Foundation has so far provided 6 additional houses
Knoydart is ‘off grid’ not just in terms of electrical supply but also with regard to mains water and sewage. The Foundation both directly and via a trading subsidiary has undertaken massive projects to replace and upgrade all aspects of its utility provision.