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Initiative At The Edge - South East Caithness

14 December 2018
Contact details etc now in the Business Index HERE

Info on the groups web site HERE

24 May 08
Latheron, Lybster and Clyth Community Development Company
The Board of the Latheron, Lybster and Clyth Community Development Company (LLCCDC) is grateful to the local community for its overwhelming support for the purchase of 40 hectares of land in the Rumster Forest for its proposed three turbine 5 mega watt community wind farm.

The result of the postal ballot conducted by the Highland Council was as follows:
1031 papers issued with 694 returned by the deadline of 12th May 2008. (67.3%)
Of those returned
489 Voted Yes (70.4%)
203 Voted No (29.3%)
2 Papers were spoiled

Iain Gunn, the Chairman of LLCCDC, said that this was a magnificent result. He was grateful to all those involved in going from door to door to ensure that as many voters as possible registered their vote. The Board had been very concerned about meeting the requirement under the National Forest Purchase Scheme for a vote of 50% of the electorate as the land had been valued by the District Valuer at over 50,000, the sum at which more stringent criteria had to be met, as this was considerably higher than the vote for many elections. A voting return of over 67% and a vote of over 70% in favour of the purchase of the land for the wind farm was an extremely encouraging indication of local support for the project.

The next move was to seek funding from Government Agencies to purchase the land and thereafter to carry out the necessary studies required to obtain Planning Permission. It is estimated that it might be three years or more before the wind farm is up and running if all goes well.

Iain Gunn expressed his thanks to all the local and Government Agencies for their continuing help in developing this community-led renewable energy project which could bring very considerable benefits to the local area. He hoped that as many members of the local community would become members of the Development Company so that they could have a say on how the project is developed. Membership costs 1.00. All interested should contact Eric Larnach, the Company Secretary. Tele:01593 731 455.

29 April 08
A New Future For East Caithness
Residents Of Latheron, Lybster And Clyth Return Your Voting Paper 5th to 12th May

It is the intention of Latheron, Lybster and Clyth Community Development Company on behalf of the local community in KW3 and KW5 post code areas to purchase 40 hectares of land at the north west edge of Rumster Forest at a cost of 80,000 from the Forestry Commission Scotland under the National Forest Land Scheme for the purpose of building a community owned wind farm not exceeding 3 turbines or 5 mega watts. It is estimated that a 5 mega watt wind farm will provide an average net income of 200,000 per annum for 20 years which would be invested in local community employment and infrastructure initiatives.

10 October 07
Minutes Of 14th August 2007 Show Huge Range of Activities

The South East Caithness Development Group has grown since February 2005 into an organisation looking at many of the problems facing a fragile area with population decline.  As you can see from a look at the minutes from 14th August not only are problems being looked at but many are being addressed by a variety of methods not least of which are making funding applications.  Many successes are already achieved but the larger ones involving housing and jobs take longer.  Several initiatives are underway but looming large for the group is the questions of its own survival to continue the work.  The end date of the three years of its funding is already in sight.  The group are examining how the work can be carried on to ensure they can keep building on the successes achieved so far.

24 August 07
South East Caithness Development Group are delighted to announce that a project to supply and install new play equipment in Dunbeath Playing Field has been successfully completed. The group worked in partnership with the community council, the community centre, the Highland Council who installed and will maintain the equipment, and the Rural Development Small Award Fund who provided the funding to purchase the equipment.

1 August 07
New Transport Initiatives for SE Caithness
South East Caithness Development Group is happy to confirm that 2 transport initiatives have been approved by Highland Council and funding is in place to provide the services until 31st December 2011. As with all contracted services they are subject to survey and review. If there is no evidence of use then we would have to consider its provision. David Summers, Highland Council’s Transport Development Officer, said “I am very pleased that we have been able to support this service. The community has made a strong case for it and I hope it succeeds.”The Rapsons evening services will operate on Thursday, Friday and Saturday between Wick and Dunbeath. The services will start on Thursday 9th August 07.
The Dial-a-ride service operated by Caithness rural Transport in the Dunbeath area is also set to continue until December 2011.  But the big factor is that these services are subject to review and if they are not used may be withdrawn.

27 May 07
Logo winners For New
Caitlin Carter of Primary 4 of Lybster Primary School won the competition for the best logo for the newly formed Latheron, Lybster and Clyth Community Development Company set up by the South East Caithness Development Group under the Initiative at the Edge scheme to manage community land and associated assets for the benefit of the local community.

The runner-up in the competition was Eilidh Sutherland. Over 60 children from primary 4, 5, 6 and 7 of Lybster Primary School submitted entries, which were judged on the basis of artistic merit and appropriateness for reduction into a logo. The winners received their certificates and prizes from Iain Gunn and Neil Buchanan directors of the Development Company at Lybster School.

The new logo will be first used on application forms for membership of the Development Company, which will be open to all adult residents in the KW3 and KW5 post code areas.

The company’s first task has been to commission a feasibility study for a community owned wind farm of up to three wind turbines with a total output of up to 5 mega watts in Rumster Forest. The company has been discussing with the Forestry Commission the possibility of purchasing 40 hectares of land at Golticlay under the National Forest Land Scheme, “Community Acquisition”, with support from the Community Land Unit and Highland and Island Community Energy Company to provide income to be used for the benefit of the local community.

The Development Company will consult fully with the local community on whether to proceed with the project when the results of the feasibility study, which is being carried out by Orkney Sustainable Energy Ltd, are available.

Iain Gunn

8 March 07
Thirty two crofters attended a 'Horticulture for Crofters' day at Dunbeath Community Centre on Saturday 17th February 07. Organised by Initiative at the Edge, the purpose of the event was to promote horticulture as a viable form of diversification for crofters. In the morning session, Donald Murdie, projects manager with Scottish Crofting Foundation (SCF), gave a talk on opportunities in horticulture for crofters, and Douglas Henderson spoke on the Food for Thought project at Spittal. John Cowan, the new Crofters Commission Development Manager for the area, discussed the available grant schemes, and local crofter Magnus Henderson introduced the Crofting Development Group that is being formed in the South East Caithness area.

The afternoon session consisted of a visit to the Food for Thought project which impressed all present by its innovative approach and the quality of the salad crops growing at this normally dormant time of year. A lively question and answer session followed where Donald, Douglas, John and John Gunn (Highland Council Planning) provided valuable information.

Donald Murdie of SCF said, "This was the eighth in a series of these events that is covering the entire crofting counties. Clearly there is a vibrant crofting community here that is keen to make sustainable use of their good-quality land for food production. Even with the advance of the supermarket chains, an increasing number of consumers want to know where their food comes from and appreciate the quality and freshness of local produce. Crofters are in a unique position to fill that gap in the market, as has been proved by a number of already established croft horticulture businesses in Caithness."

Eric Larnach development officer for Initiative at the Edge said, "I am delighted with the numbers that attended, and from the feedback received, on how informative and enjoyable the whole day had been. The question and answer session went really well with Donald, Douglas, John and John providing valuable information to every question thrown at them."

The organisers acknowledge the financial support of Scottish Agricultural College through the European Social Fund, and the Crofters Commission.

Contacts: Donald Murdie (SCF) Tel: 01851 612484 Mobile: 07921 059396
Eric Larnach (IatE) Tel: 01593 731455 Mobile: 07917 693261

27 February 07
Next Meeting

Tuesday 17th April 2007 - 7.30pm
Dunbeath Community Centre

South East Caithness Development Group
Tuesday 12th December 2006 - 7.30pm
Dunbeath Community Centre
We have to work together to get as much as possible for our area out of the Initiative at the Edge programme and I encourage people to come out to the Annual General Meeting on the Tuesday 12th December 2006 at 7.30pm in Dunbeath Community Centre to make sure there is strong local input for current and future projects.
Although some projects have been completed the group are still pulling ideas together so there is plenty of opportunity for local people to input to the process buy contacting members of the steering group or Eric Larnach Development Officer on 01593 731455 or email ericlarnahiate@btconnect.com
AGENDA 12 December 06
1 Apologies
2 Minutes
3 Matters arising from the minutes
4 Chairman’s Report
5 Annual General Meeting – Election of Office bearers
6 Local Development Plan – Update
7 Renewable Energy
9 Date of next meeting

7 October 06
Barclays Kit Boost For Lybster Junior Football Team
Barclays has come to the aid of Lybster Junior Football Club by donating a complete set of coaching kit and equipment to its football team. The award has been made as part of the 30m grassroots programme, Barclays Spaces for Sports. The donation is one of 1,200 packs being awarded each year to ensure teams across the UK will benefit from the three year scheme. Lybster Junior Football Club secretary Mark Hendry said “we would like to take this opportunity to thank Barclays for providing this kit and equipment that will benefit both our coaches and players. We now have 5 junior teams to run and as fund raising becomes more and more difficult it is very much appreciated. We would also like to thank Initiative at the Edge development officer for his support”  Larger Photo

22 August 06
Dunbeath Tennis Court Refurbishment
South East Caithness Development Group continues to improve amenities for people in south-east Caithness. The public tennis court at Dunbeath, which had been closed for over a year has been brought back into use.

The 10,000 project is part of the development plan to breathe new life into the area.

The Development Group is supported by the Scottish Executive’s Initiative at the Edge (IatE) programme to benefit deprived, outlying rural parts of the country.

The project to reinstate the tennis courts was identified at one of the early public meetings held to establish the priorities for local people. The funding package was secured, and the court has now been resurfaced and relined, and a new perimeter fence and gate erected.

IatE development officer Eric Larnach is delighted with how the scheme has come together. Speaking after Monday’s reopening of the courts, he said: “This was something which was flagged up early on both by Dunbeath and Berriedale Community Council and Dunbeath Community Centre, and everybody has since pulled together to make it happen.” Mr Larnach said the courts are an asset not just for Dunbeath but for the whole of the area. It is, he added, a small project but one which, when linked with other IatE initiatives, can play a part in reversing years of decline and depopulation. “It all goes towards our objective of providing suitable amenities and local infrastructure that will help attract families back to the area,” he said.

Mr Larnach explained that the courts have proved popular with locals, ranging from youngsters to people aged 60-plus.
The Lottery-backed Awards For All scheme contributed 5000, Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise contributed 4552 and Dunbeath Community Centre 400. A collection at the local shop paid for a new net.

13 May 06
New Transport Initiatives for South East Caithness
South East Caithness Development Group are happy to introduce the 2 transport initiatives. A New Bus Service & Community Transport For Dunbeath Area

23 March 06
Report To Caithness Area Committee - Pdf file
A report by the Caithness Area Manage Ian Hargrave will be made on Monday 27 March 2006 in the Mowat Room, Assembly Rooms, Wick. The report shows the range of projects being carried out and under consideration.

Progress Report 21 March 2006
South East Caithness Development Group has made considerable progress since its inception in February 2005. The Development Group was set up following the area of South East Caithness, which encompasses the community councils of Berriedale and Dunbeath, Latheron, Lybster and Clyth being given Initiative at the Edge status in October 2004. Communities in South East Caithness are set to benefit from the initiative aimed at tackling the problems which face many rural areas in the Highlands.

During October every household in the two Community Council areas that make up the south-east Caithness Initiative at the Edge area will be given the opportunity to take part in a housing survey to establish the housing needs and views of the people who live there.  The Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust (HSCHT) has been asked to carry out the survey by the south-east Caithness Initiative at the Edge Area Steering Group, Dunbeath and Berriedale Community Council and Latheron’ Lybster and Clyth Community Council. Every household in south-east Caithness will receive a questionnaire from the HSCHT, the results from which are expected to provide a much clearer understanding of the different kinds of housing problems being experienced locally.

21 September 05
Initiative At The Edge Annual Conference In Lybster - Delegates Went To The Knotty
Lybster in Southeast Caithness is the venue for this year's Initiative at the Edge (IatE) annual two-day conference which was opened yesterday (Tuesday 20th 2005) by Allan Wilson MSP, Deputy Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning.  IatE was established in 1998 to develop a community led, multi agency approach to regenerating selected areas designated as the most economically and socially fragile in the Highlands and Islands.  The Deputy Minister and delegates headed for the harbour at the end of the day for knotty demonstration game.  After a tough game by two teams a few delegates took up the challenge.

19 February 05
New  Steering Group Meeting Gets Down To Business
The first meeting of the steering group for the Initiative At The Edge on 15 February wasted no time in appointing office bearers.  The new committee covered a lot of ground for their first meeting including development plan, funding, constitution, recruitment of a development officer.  the group are still pulling ideas together so there is plenty of opportunity for local people to input to the process buy contacting members of the steering group or Anna MacConnell on 01641 541326 or email a.macconnell@hient.co.uk  Anna will act as a contact until a development officer is employed.

2 February 05
Public Meeting Wednesday 9 February 7.30pm
Portland Arms Hotel, Lybster
Communities in south east Caithness are set to benefit from an initiative aimed at tackling the problems which face many rural areas in the Highlands. 

In October 2004 the areas covered by the community councils of Berriedale & Dunbeath, Latheron, Lybster & Clyth were designated Initiative at the Edge status. 

 Initiative at the Edge (IatE) was launched, in March 1998, to concentrate attention and effort on tackling the problems faced by the most fragile rural areas of northern Scotland.  The operating principle of IatE gives community groups the power to identify their needs, set their own priorities, outline the actions required and, with the assistance of their local partner bodies (Highland Council, Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise, Crofters Commission and Caithness Voluntary Groups) develop projects accordingly.

A public meeting will be held in the Portland Arms Hotel in Lybster at 7.30pm on Wednesday 9th February for those interested in more information more about the Initiative or in being part of a steering group to work with local agency staff to form a local development plan.  The group will also be given the option to appoint a Local Development Officer to work with them to develop projects and deal with issues identified in the local plan.

In addition to staff from Highland Council, CASE and the Crofters Commission, the recently appointed national co-ordinator for IatE, Hugh Donaldson, will also be at the meeting.

From 2000 to 2004, North Sutherland was one of the original eight pilot areas to benefit from IaaO status and the Initiative was the springboard from which a number of community projects were kick-started and supported, including the Mackay Country project, North Sutherland Community Forestry Trust and a number of local projects such as the Strathy Bay Environmental Cabin, and Melness and Eriboll pier developments. 

According to Anna MacConnell, CASE, “Being involved in Initiative at the Edge focuses both the participating community and the local agencies’ attention on the development and regeneration potential of an area, promotes closer working to find solutions to local problems as well as assisting people to devise ways of solving some of the problems.  It also supports communities to take positive action at their own hand.”

Welcoming the Initiative to the area Councillor Billy Mowat said, “I’m pleased that that the area has been designated Initiative at the Edge status and look forward to working with the community on projects identified as being of local importance.  We have to work together to get as much as possible for our area out of this new programme and I encourage people to come out to the public meeting on the 9th to make sure there is strong local input from the start.”

For further information please contact Anna MacConnell on 01641 541326 or email a.macconnell@hient.co.uk or visit the Initiative at the Edge at www.initiative-at-the-edge.org.uk

11 January 05
The former Initiative at the Edge (IatE) local development officer for Ardnamurchan, Hugh Donaldson, has been appointed as the new IatE co-ordinator for the whole of the Highlands and Islands.  Hughie took up his post on Monday 10th January, and will be based at his home in Acharacle.   Hughie is a crofter and is also closely involved with a number of local and wider voluntary organisations including the Highland Small Communities Housing Trust, Lochaber Housing Association, Scottish Crofting Foundation, Acharacle Community Company and Loch Shiel Jetties Trust.

Meetings & Reports
Minutes 15 January 2008
Minutes 23 October 2007
Minutes 18 October 2007
Minutes 14th August 2007

LDO Report June 2007
Minutes 17April 2007
Projects Report For AGM Dec 2006
AGM 12 December 2006
Minutes 12 December 2006
LDO Report 12 December 2006
Minutes 24 October 2006
LDO Report 12 October 2006
Minutes 22 August 2006
LDO Report 11 August 2006
LDO Report June 2006
Minutes 7 March 2006
Steering Group Meeting 22 March 2005
Steering Group Meeting 1 March 2005
Steering Group Meeting 15 February 2005
Public meeting 9 February 2005

Draft Constitution

SE Caithness
The area of SE Caithness encompasses the Community Council areas of Lybster, Clyth & Latheronwheel and Dunbeath & Berriedale. The area has a total population of around 1,700 based mainly in the two villages of Lybster & Dunbeath.

To allow the process to start the Community Economic Development Manager From Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise will assist in progressing the proposals.  Initial talks with the two local community councils have already begun.

Initiative at the Edge (IatE) is a partnership programme involving communities in specific areas of the Highlands & Islands. The operating principle of IatE gives the community groups the power to identify their needs, required actions and develop projects accordingly. The Partners in IatE are able to support the communities in the realisation of their projects. It is expected that the Initiative designation will last for a period of three years, with a further two years of follow-on activity where appropriate.

There are 10 areas with Initiative at the Edge status, ranging from Shetland to Argyll. Their respective start dates for Initiative status are:
1st April 2004: Isle of Jura, Glenelg and Arnisdale, Eday and Stronsay, North Mavine, Lochs,

1st October 2004: Isle of Coll, Caithness Southeast, North Ronaldsay and Sanday, Unst Yell & Fetlar, Barra and Vatersay,

The Partners involved are: The Scottish Executive, Highlands and Islands Enterprise network, Communities Scotland, Crofters Commission, Scottish Natural Heritage, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Argyll and Bute Council, Highland Council, Shetland Islands Council, and Orkney Islands Council.

Key elements of the Initiative at the Edge

  • Communities themselves setting the development agenda, led by a local community development group. This is supported by a “statement of intent” from the partner agencies to underpin their commitment to the Initiative.

  • A planned process for identifying, prioritising and implementing the communities’ development priorities, built around the preparation of a community development plan;

  • Agency resources deployed to ensure the proper functioning of community development groups, to help initiate development projects, and to help identify additional resources. Small-scale “seedcorn”-type grant funding is made available to allow community groups to carry out preliminary investigations with minimal obstacles.

  • Public bodies and the Executive give the IatE areas a special focus and priority in their activities, initiating new projects and practices where appropriate, and levering in additional resources. Agencies and Local Authorities work collaboratively to ensure the most effective solutions to identified issues. The National Steering Group works at a high level to resolve strategic obstacles to development, and to help ensure that the IatE areas are able to take advantage of the opportunities available.

  • There is an exchange of experience, ideas, information and best practice between IatE communities across the Highlands and Islands.

See Also
History Of Latheron

Dunbeath Primary School
Lybster Primary School
Regeneration - Caithness & North Sutherland
Caithness Business Index
Caithness And Sutherland Enterprise
Economic Development - Highland Council
Community Development Projects Initiative
The Caithness Fund
Caithness Socio Economic Strategy Group

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