Posts Tagged ‘commercial’

New and growing businesses wanted

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Since July, work has been underway on the East Tarbert/Urgha border to construct the first new business units in Harris for over a decade. Last year, The North Harris Trust secured funding from the Big Lottery, HIE and CnES to build facilities that will attract new jobs and training opportunities to the area. The high cost of construction here in Harris and the perceived lack of demand has meant that no commercial developer has ever considered this sort of development. As a community development trust, The North Harris Trust has managed to convince the funders that if the units are built, then the businesses will come, along with employment opportunities.

Over the last few months Lewis Builders and Duncan MacKay & Sons Ltd have been preparing the ground for the three timber-frame buildings. Everyone on site now understands how hard the Harris rock is. We have worn out 5 tips to the rock breaker and burst countless hydraulic hoses. At last though, we have something above ground to show for 3 months work. The larch-clad units have been designed to be energy efficient with their own solar panels for electricity generation. Each has a workshop area, office and toilet. The units are due for completion at the end of January 2015. Planning permission has been granted for Business and Light Industrial use.

Over the years since the project was first conceived, the Trust has gathered the names of interested parties. An Expression of Interest form is now available for these people and others to confirm their interest. The form will allow funders to determine which potential tenants are best placed to create a positive impact to the economy of North Harris.

The form can be downloaded HERE  along with plans of the buildings. Hard copy versions can be sent by contacting David Wake on 01859 502222.

See the official Press Release HERE

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We’re 100% there!

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Last week we received the final piece of the funding jigsaw. An award in the first round of Community Capital Grants Fund from CnES makes up our shortfall. CnES will be contributing £35,000 to get us on our way again.

This week, the architect will submit our Building Warrant application after a period of detailed design work. Meanwhile our solicitor is working on the security agreements that Big Lottery needs in place. We’re still hoping to break ground in the spring.


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Community ownership brings half a million pounds to North Harris

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The BIG Lottery has issued the following press release today:


The Big Lottery Fund Scotland’s Investing in Communities programme today announces its latest package of funding worth over £1.1 million to two projects in the Highlands and North Harris.


Inverness-based New Start Highland has been awarded a £673,748 grant to support its Project Shine.

The North Harris Trust has been awarded £502,212 to construct new zero carbon business units in the Tarbert area, creating 13 full time jobs together with three full time training places. By encouraging growth in enterprise the Trust aims to provide employment and training opportunities to young people who currently leave the area to find work while encouraging new families and employers to move into the community.

Calum MacKay, Chair of the North Harris Trust, said:

“Our 2012 Community Survey confirmed that the lack of jobs is the biggest issue facing our small community. This project will create first rate facilities that will attract new and growing businesses from near and far. Each will be expected to deliver on their promise to create new jobs and training opportunities. Support from the Big Lottery Fund confirms our belief that community-driven developments like this are the way to make a difference.”


Announcing the awards, Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, Maureen McGinn, said: “Through our Investing in Communities programme the Big Lottery Fund is able to help a broad range of people in need. These can be activities to address long term unemployment due to substance misuse, offending or simply a lack of opportunity. The groups funded today are ideally placed to assist those with greatest need and make a huge difference to people’s lives.”

This award makes up 70% of the required funding package. An announcement from HIE on a further 20% of the package is due shortly. The project is being taken forward by the Trust on behalf of the community because of market failure. Neither commercial developers nor local authority have built business space in over 10 years. Without business space we cannot attract new and growing businesses and new jobs. Community ownership opens up access to funding for such projects.

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Zero Carbon Business Units take the next step

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At last! It’s taken 6 months, but we’ve finally got our planning permission for the business units in East Tarbert.

Work has already started on the next stage – the funding. We have successfully completed Stage 1 of the application to the Growing Community Assets Fund at the Big Lottery. We are now working up an application for Development Funding to get together everything that is required for the Stage 2 application.

We have also been talking to HIE about funding. They have now offered a further £10K towards the pre construction costs.

So we are still making progress.

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