Four organisations from Lewis and Harris attended a special event at the Third Sector Hebrides centre on Francis Street, Stornoway on Wednesday February 22 to get their cheques from the local committee dealing with the Scottish Landfill Communities Fund.
The SCLF is funded from a levy of 5.6% on all landfill tax paid by landfill operators in Scotland.
The landfill tax paid in the Outer Hebrides relates to Comhairle na Eilean Siar disposal operations at Bennadrove in Lewis and Rueval in Benbecula.
Third Sector Hebrides has gained approved status to administer SLCF and disperse grants, and now wish to promote this fund to eligible local groups across the islands.
Four groups from Lewis and Harris were present to receive their grants in person - Gallan Head Community Trust; Tong Community Council; The North Harris Trust; and The Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust.
Carolyn Ferguson of The Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust explained their £12,000 project was to restore and clean-up the Glen River in Stornoway – which runs from Loch Airigh na Lic at Bennadrove through Marybank and the Castle Grounds. They will be cutting back overgrowth and clearing debris that has accumulated in it. There are going to be volunteer days for the general public and for Stornoway Primary School pupils in particular. It is hoped to restore fishing on the river – surveys will be done to establish if fish numbers improve as a result of the work.
George Moody of Tong Community Council said their project – costing around £3,400 - involves extending footpaths in the village. The council had been building footpaths through the village which were well-used and now there was a demand for proper paths to the shore of the bay opposite to Coll and there was also need for measure to restrain quad bikes from using the paths, as well as creating a proper access to the beach.
David Wakes of the North Harris Trust said their project at Hushinish – the £270,000 Huisinis Gateway Project which is to rebuild the public toilets at Hushinish beach, develop an interpretation centre and provide recycling facilities. The aim is to start work in March and finish in August.
Jill Smith of Gallan Head Community Trust said that their grant was going towards environmental improvements across the former Ministry of Defence site removing smaller debris left behind by earlier efforts to restore the site for public use. There’s going to be two weeks of work which is entirely funded by the SCLF. After that project is complete, they hope to improve footpaths across the area to widen access.
Overall, the SCLF can be used to support projects which:-
- Aid the reclamation, remediation, restoration or other operation on land to facilitate economic, social or environmental use
- Are community based recycling, re-use and waste prevention projects
- Aim to provide, maintain or improve a public park or other public amenity
- Conserve or promote biological diversity through the provision, conservation, restoration or enhancement of a natural habitat or the maintenance/recovery of a species in its natural habitat
- Aim to maintain, repair or restore a building, other structure or a site of archaeological interest that is a place of religious worship, or a site of historic or architectural or archaeological interest which is open to the public
The full list of those getting immediate support in the first round of applications to the SCLF, administered through Third Sector Hebrides, shows awards totalling £24,350.50 were made to the following eligible projects;
- £4550.00 - Cothrom Ltd, South Uist - for the project – Don’t dump – Bank with Us
- £5000.00 - Gallan Head Community Trust – Remediation of Gallan Head
- £6000.00 – Urras Nan Craobh Uibhist a Tuath – Access to Activities in the Langass Woodlands, North Uist.
- £846.25 - Tong Community Council – Path Steps
- £1594.25 – The Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust – The Glen River Resoration
- £1860.00 - The Pairc Trust – Discovering the Green Oasis
- £4500.00 – The North Harris Trust – Huisinis Gateway – Recycling Project
Further project funding of £60,282 was also approved for several other projects, subject to further conditions being met.