Support fund in Edinbane
A fund is being launched to give support to those in the Edinbane postal area who are in exceptional difficulties because of the Covid crisis.
Edinbane Community Company’s project draws on the example of a similar Dunvegan area fund and has the professional help of the Portree Citizen’s Advice Bureau in running it.
The grant of up to a maximum of £500 can be used to address immediate needs such as groceries, fuel, electricity, rent or council tax arrears.
Applications are treated with confidentiality. Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01478 612032
Bank support for Kinloch Lodge
Kinloch lodge, the award-winning luxury hotel in Skye, has secured loan support from Bank of Scotland after losing over a thousand bookings because of the Covid-19 pandemic
Kinloch Lodge relies heavily on revenue from international tourists so the ban on overseas travel hit it hard. Some 1,200 bookings from March to June were cancelled, forcing the hotel to temporarily close and furlough all 32 members of staff.
However, it has now secured a six-figure loan from Bank of Scotland via the UK government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, allowing it to trade through the pandemic until travel restrictions are lifted, as well as pay suppliers.
Director Isabella Macdonald said: “Most businesses in the Highlands experience quieter trading periods during the winter, so we tend to rely on our spring and summer months. Unfortunately, when the ban on non-essential travel hit in March we went from being fully booked to nothing, almost overnight.
“Despite our bookings normally being largely made up of international travellers, we’re hopeful for a rise in UK staycations and a busy end to the year for our business.”
Waste recycling centres being used sensibly
The public’s “sensible and prudent” use of Household Waste Recycling Centres in the Western Isles since they reopened earlier this week, has led Comhairle nan Eilean Siar to revise the rules governing access to the facilities.
The HWRC in Creed Park reopened on Monday after being closed as part of the coronavirus lock-down measures, with access initially limited to those arriving with waste for recycling in cars, with access for other vehicles planned to start later in the month.
But the authority has now confirmed that from today (Wednesday 3rd June) those arriving at the HWRC in Stornoway and at Rueval HWRC in Benbecula with household waste in vans, pick-ups and in vehicles towing trailers will also now be able to access the sites on weekdays, but with the cars-only rule remaining in place for Saturdays.
The reopening of the facility in Stornoway on Monday had passed quietly with just a handful of cars entering the centre’s gates in the first two hours of opening. By Peter Urpeth
Raasay renewable scheme still on track
Forestry and Land Scotland has been working with Raasay Development Trust to help keep a renewable energy scheme on track.
The Inverarish Hydro Scheme is the first application of its kind to FLS’s Community Asset Transfer Scheme – to build and operate a community owned ‘run-of-river’ hydro scheme.
But to secure feed-in tariff for providing power to the National Grid, the scheme has to be operational by September 2021.
Because of Covid-19 restrictions, the community is having to make some major adjustments to its plans to meet the deadline – and that includes working with FLS to reschedule some harvesting work.
RDT Chair Iain Hector Ross said: “Sustainable energy solutions will help us tackle fuel poverty on the island and strengthen our continuity of supply while helping us fulfil our commitment to safeguard our environment for future generations.
“The hydro scheme will improve the resilience of our community, giving us access to power, reducing our reliance on imported fossil fuels and establishing a small income stream that can fund other projects and contribute to a community benefit fund.