North Skye cultural centre among projects bidding for rural regeneration fund

The ceremonial turf cutting in Flodigarry last year

Plans to secure funding for an ambitious £4.4 million cultural and community centre in the north of Skye will come before Highland Council today (Wednesday).

The Ionad Thròndairnis plan is among 20 projects applying to stage one of the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant funding scheme.

The applications are on the agenda of the council’s economy and infrastructure committee as it meets to discuss the region’s post-covid recovery plans.

The project, based at Flodigarry, has applied for £4.38 million of the total £4.426 million cost of the development.

The centre, which will include accommodation for visitors, is conceived as a multi-purpose venue for hosting concerts, ceilidhs and other cultural and social events.

It would also be used as a centre for Gaelic courses, as well as being a social hub for the district.

Development trust Urras Baile Fhlodaigearraich has secured a site for the development from the local grazings committee.

Last year MSP Kate Forbes cut the first turf on where the proposed centre could be built.

The purpose of the RCGF is to provide financial support to projects that will help to deliver large-scale improvements to deprived areas.

Earlier this year the Staffin Community Trust received almost £1 million from the fund to go towards the development of the local harbour.

Typically, the budget for each round of the RCGF has been between £20 million and £25 million.

Normally local authorities review and prioritise all applications but this year, due to pressures of Covid-19, all expressions of interest received were converted into full stage one applications.

Raasay Development Trust are also seeking £540,000 of a £600,000 project towards a community pontoon.

The Isle of Rum Community Trust wants £1.3 million towards a proposed community hub on the island, while Broadford and Strath Community Company have applied for a £500,000 grant to establish a rural enterprise project.