Meanish pier developments take a step forward

A pier in the Glendale area of the Isle of Skye has taken a significant step forward after recently hosting the successful community led ‘Festival of the Sea’ project.

The project will see the development of the community owned Meanish Pier and has secured £20,500 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

The slipway, pier and surrounding area of land at Meanish were taken into community ownership in 2013 by the Glendale Trust.

Plans were put in place to bring the area back into use for the benefit of the local community, including visitor moorings, safe walk ashore access to the water, improved parking and improvements to the slipway.

Since then, volunteers have secured a Local Management Agreement for Loch Pooltiel as well as planning approval from the Highland Council for the proposed improvements.

A new head of terms has also been negotiated with Crown Estate Scotland for the proposals.

The Meanish Pier Working Group made up from members of the local moorings association, community council, Glendale Trust and boat operators have agreed to work with Kames Fish Farm Ltd Oban. The company was granted planning permission for the production of salmon or trout in the local Loch Pooltiel. Kames as part of the planning process have offered to work with the community group, and using their expertise and resources deliver much needed infrastructure and subsequent wider benefits to the area.

HIE’s funding will support the professional services required to formalise agreements between Kames and the community group.

Jennifer Macpherson, development manager at HIE’s Lochaber, Skye and Wester Ross team, said: “The redevelopment of Meanish Pier and the surrounding area is an important growth project for the community of Glendale, having been part of its community growth plan for a number of years. Our assistance for this project ensures that the community benefit is maximised from a commercial operator leasing a community owned asset. We look forward to seeing more benefits being realised following the valuable work of the HIE-funded Local Development Officer employed by The Glendale Trust.”

Karen Redfern director of the Glendale Trust made clear, “the Trust understands the importance of our role as owners of the pier, slip and surrounding land at Meanish in our negotiations with Kames. We are pleased that the HIE funding will enable the Trust to secure the professional services that will formalise agreements moving forward and ensure they deliver the maximum benefit to the local community and area users. We look forward to demonstrating that community organisations can work successfully with commercial operators and ensure all parties including the environment can benefit.”

 

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