January 20, 2018

Glendale Community Council – Invitation to form a key local stakeholder group to deliver improved local tourism infrastructure.

Following on from a public meeting on the 5th of October 2017 where the Glendale Community Council received a unanimous mandate from the community the Glendale Community Council has published an options report which details suggestions put forward to improve local tourism related infrastructure.

This report follows on from two previous reports detailing the incredible levels of traffic and visitor numbers to the area, and the impact the area is facing due to a lack of public toilets.

Glendale, which is recognised as one of the most iconic and best known destinations on Skye, is so popular due to stunning scenery locations such as Neist Point; being home to the world famous Three Chimneys Restaurant; and being one of the most important locations in terms of Scottish heritage and culture, due to the Glendale crofters leading role in delivering land reform across Scotland.

The recent announcement of the The Scottish Governments Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund – which will see £6 million invested over two years, supportive remarks Fiona Hyslop (Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs and the announcement of a local “Task Force” by Kate Forbes MSP, has encouraged the Glendale Community Council to call for a local project stakeholder group to be set up. Invitations will be issued to the Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and local stakeholders to deliver a tourism infrastructure project for the area.

Speaking on behalf of the Community Council, Vice Chair Kevin Stockley says, “there is a real opportunity to see much needed improvements delivered in Glendale. Given the recognition of the issues by our community, tourism related businesses, public-sector organisations and public servants, we, as a community are now ready to deliver. There are a range of options to be considered many of which, if delivered properly will make a real difference to locals and tourists alike. It won’t be long until the tourist season is back in full swing and we simply cannot be in a situation where improvements have not been delivered. The time for talking is over we must make sure our communities and Island are ready to welcome visitors.”

Fellow Community Councillor Neil Fergusson highlighted the need for urgency. “Glendale is ready, we have undertaken consultations, highlighted the issues, and possess a clear mandate to deliver improvements. What we urgently need is a direct working dialogue with key stakeholders such as the Highland Council, who have responsibilities for roads, signage and public transport. It is imperative that these organisations are round the table early and we work together to get our responsibilities, plans and funding in place as soon as possible. Our short term goals need to be delivered as soon as possible while we ensure there is an ongoing long term sustainable strategy for the area, which encourages sustainable growth based on a solid infrastructure foundation. It is clear that Councillors are keen to re-engage with the community and strengthen the local element to the services they deliver. This will reverse the perception of remoteness from Inverness and the Councillors through the local ward group should seek core capital funding as a matter of priority for significant critical projects for the area. There is a need to reverse the failure of local government in our area through lack of core funding. This project amongst others presents a real opportunity for nurturing further Council led village projects that draw all agencies together with community interests foremost.”

Kate Forbes MSP Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch has offered her support – “The progress made in Glendale is a model for how communities proactively capitalise on the benefits of rapid growth in tourism.

“Whilst it’s clear that residents had an exceptionally busy summer, it’s remarkable to see how quick and enterprising they have been in highlighting the challenges, engaging with each other and public bodies and sourcing solutions.

“I, for one, am willing to do anything I can to assist the Glendale community take forward ambitious plans for sustainable growth. We could all take a leaf out of their book.”

John Finlayson a local councillor added that “he continued to be impressed with the proactive approach taken by the Glendale community to identify projects that would make a difference for locals and tourists alike and which had been identified following community consultation and an evaluation of surveys and hard facts.

He also hoped that the by working in partnership with the Glendale community, the council and other agencies could begin to deliver projects that will make a difference very soon.”

The Options Report Can be viewed here – GCC-TIP-Final-14-11-17

 

==================================================================================

 

ENDS –

Please contact

Donald Murdie Community Council Secretary via email – glendaleccouncil@gmail.com

Glendale Community Council – Press Release

The Glendale Community Council has taken the first step towards a community led solution to address the impact of increased visitor numbers to Glendale. Two reports have been published one detailing the levels of traffic and visitor numbers to the area, the other details the impact of the lack of public toilets.

 

The popularity of Glendale, which is recognised as one of the most iconic and best known destinations on Skye, stems from stunning scenery at locations such as Neist Point; being home to the world famous Three Chimneys Restaurant; and Glendale’s status as one of the most important locations in terms of Scottish heritage and culture. The people of Glendale brought the land struggles of the late 19th century to the fore, leading to the establishment of the Napier Commission and subsequent formation of the Glendale Estate, the first ever community buyout in the history of Scotland.

 

The well documented increase in tourism to the Isle of Skye and to Glendale has been observed by the Glendale Community Council and local residents. Concerns have led the Community Council members to undertake two significant pieces of work which highlight the pressures being faced by the area.

 

An assessment of the volume of traffic and visitor numbers passing along the single track B884 Glendale Road (the only road into and out of the area) was recently carried out. Volunteers undertook two counts of vehicles entering and leaving Skinidin at the gateway to Glendale. The days were chosen when enough volunteers were available – 2 volunteers for a 2 hour time slot covering twelve hours each day. The traffic census recorded vehicle type, numbers and approximate number of passengers. Both days happened to be exceptionally wet and windy, with torrential rain and poor visibility on the second day.

 

The results of the survey were staggering, especially as it was felt that given the poor weather conditions, there would be a limited demand from visitors to destinations such as Neist Point.

 

A summary of the data collected is provided below.

Date Total Vehicles In/Out Total Approx. Passengers Local vehicles (Passengers) Non Local Vehicles (Passengers)
Friday 28 July 1160 2547 173 (217) 987 (2330)
Wednesday 16 August 1320 2639 220 (266) 1100 (2373)
Total 2480 5186 393 (483) 2087 (4703)

 

Using these figures as a basis, annual predictions for the volume of non-local traffic using the B884 to go in and out of Glendale are detailed below.

  Vehicles People
2 days (From Census) 2087 4703
One week 7304 16460
30 weeks – High Season 219120 493815
10 weeks (80%) Mid Season 58432 131680
12 weeks (20%) Low Season 17529 39504
Total 295081 664999

 

The headline figures indicate that the number of non resident people travelling the road into and out of Glendale is estimated to be approx 650,000 per year with almost 300,000 additional (non local) vehicles travelling over the single track road.

 

This huge volume of traffic and Highland Council’s inability to maintain roads due to continual cost saving exercises has left many road surfaces and verges in exceptionally poor condition. There are over 35 passing place signs missing along a relatively short section of the road, and with only 10 parking spaces available at Neist Point it appears to demonstrate that something must be delivered urgently to ensure visitors and locals can use the roads safely.

 

This increase in visitors also highlighted the need for a report on public toilets in the area. There is currently no provision of public conveniences in Glendale, the closest being in Dunvegan over 12 miles from Neist Point and often over 40 minutes drive on a busy day. The impact on local business owners and residents was highlighted in the report which raised concerns dating back to the summer of 2016. A significant number of reports of human faeces were recorded (and in some cases documented in photographs by residents) at various locations, including, but not limited to, outside the Free Church of Scotland, the Glendale Community Hall, Meanish Pier, Neist Point and by the side of the main road throughout the area. Motor home tourists were also seen emptying toilet tanks at locations such as Meanish Pier and Neist Point.

The results of these reports has led the Community Council to urgently seek to develop a sustainable strategy and plan to alleviate the pressures on the area and in doing so ensure Glendale is well equipped and prepared for the forecast increase in visitor numbers in 2018 and beyond.

Speaking on behalf of the Glendale Community Council, the Chair, Margaret MacPhee said, “These reports clearly demonstrate the huge strain our local area is under. We recognise the need for, and are delighted to welcome, visitors to Glendale but improvements are desperately needed. Everyone should be able to access and enjoy all that Glendale has to offer, while local residents should be able go about their lives and business safely. Standards have clearly slipped dramatically in terms of local road maintenance and to have only 10 parking spaces at Neist Point and no public toilet provision for over 300,000 visitors simply would not happen in Inverness or Edinburgh. We hope that local residents will support our attempts to deliver a community led solution and we seek to work with the Scottish Government, Highland Council and other organisations to develop a solution.”

A public meeting is scheduled to be held in the Red Roof Cafe, Holmisdale on Thursday 5th October at 19.00. Attendees will be asked if a solution to the issues should be led by the local community. If demonstrable and majority support is evident then options and ideas will be sought on what solutions should be considered and which stakeholders should be involved.

Having read the reports, Eilean a’Cheo councillor John Finlayson said, “Glendale Community Council are to be commended on taking the initiative with their own vehicle census this summer and the results of this clearly show the high volume of traffic that uses the B884. The residents’ concerns about the state of the road have to be recognised and I will be speaking to officers of the Council about these concerns, in the hope that some of the issues can be addressed as soon as possible. While we all know how busy Skye is in terms of tourist traffic, particularly at hot spots such as Neist Point, the high numbers that have come from this traffic census were still a surprise. Going forward, I would hope that the community, Highland Council and all other stakeholders will be able to work together to improve things for locals and tourists alike.”

 

Kate Forbes MSP pledged her support for the work of the Community Council: “The results of the survey conducted by Glendale Community Council quantify the impact on local residents this summer of the huge increase in visitors.

“It’s no wonder that people want to visit the area, with its history, quality food and accommodation and, of course, the stunning scenery.

“Tourism is a great opportunity for Glendale and the surrounding villages because it’s creating more economic opportunity than ever before, however I realise that there is a lot to do in advance of next season around roads and public conveniences.

“The next steps for the community council quite rightly should be ascertaining what local residents want but I will most certainly be ready to support whatever the community decide and the community council want to deliver.”

 

ENDS

The reports can be accessed here 

Public-Toilets-Scope-1.06

Glendale Traffic Census 2017

For further information please contact Glendale Community Council Secretary Donald Murdie

Email donald936@btinternet.com or telephone 07483247605

 

 

Glendale Meanish Pier continues to celebrate thanks to award from HIE.

 

The plans for the new Community Owned pontoo

After recently hosting the successful community led “Festival of the Sea” a project to develop the community owned Meanish Pier area in Glendale has taken a significant step forward. The Glendale Trust has secured up to £20,500 support from Highlands and Islands Enterprise.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 develop the area to meet the needs of the local community and bring the area back into use. Plans including, visitor moorings, safe walk ashore access to the water, improved parking and improvements to the slipway were developed through detailed community consultation by the now Chair of the Crown Estate Scotland, Amanda Bryan who carried out the initial community consultation work on behalf of the local community.

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 who were 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.

The award from Highlands and Islands Enterprise will provide funding for the professional services required to formalise agreements between Kames and the community group.

Stuart Cannon Managing Director of Kames said I look forward to working and co-operating with the community and Glendale Trust to the mutual benefit of all that participate.  We hope that the deep-water moorings will provide a safe anchorage for passing yachts, men and women who wish to stop over for a night or two to enjoy the fine foods that the local area produces along with appreciating the fine scenery from land.

The floating walkway will provide continuous access for small boats, canoes and small vessels to the shore, no matter what state the tides are. 

These facilities and perhaps improvements to the pier and the slipway, should allow the community to generate more activity and jobs.

Local boat operator and Glendale moorings association secretary, Greg Lane spoke positively about the proposed improvements “This will be a much needed improvement and enable boat users easier access to the moorings at all states of the tide.”

The proposed siting and specification of the new community owned moorings

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.”

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.”

 

Celebrate Glendale

Exciting Events for Glendale this summer 14th / 15th July

  • Family Rocket Competition,
  • Family Fishing Competition,
  • Hog Roast
  • Live Music…. 

See poster for more information

The New Glendale Times

The Glendale Trust is pleased to provide access to the New Glendale Times a digital newsletter for and from Glendale You can access the 1st edition of the GT here – The Glendale Times 1st Edition

North Skye Broadband Project Launched

An important broadband project has now formally launched you can read the news release here NSBLaunch-PressRelease-_-Issued-11-02-16 and visit the website www.northskyebroadband.com

Alumni and Homecoming Day

 

11709734_1052540568110756_5047339212171475012_o

North Skye Broadband report published

The Glendale Trust has today announced the publication of “North Skye Broadband”, in which it sets out the findings of a comprehensive public consultation about the inadequacy of existing Internet connectivity in Glendale, Waternish, and Duntulm communities, and details of the Trust’s next phase of planning for the implementation and provision of high-speed broadband to homes and businesses across North Skye.

The Trust set up its superfast broadband project to explore the provision of adequate Internet connectivity to communities in Glendale, not just for technical convenience, but to try to safeguard communities across North Skye from the otherwise inevitable consequences of becoming second-class citizens in the Information Age.   Education, employment, health care, leisure… every aspect of our daily lives is increasingly dependent on what has become the “third utility”, and when commercial broadband suppliers decide not to provide that service in rural communities, self-help is an attractive option.”

The Trust’s Broadband Working Group will be meeting on Wednesday 22nd July (7:30pm in the Glendale Hall) to agree on the incorporation of a suitable community body to take forward the project, and to apply for capital assistance from Community Broadband Scotland for the next stage of development funding.  Other next steps include the investigation of service delivery options, permissions for technical infrastructure, and – if financially viable – the development of a funding package to support the capital investment required.   Whilst the Group has established links with interest groups across with the three communities during the public consultation phase, anyone who would like to be involved with the Project is welcome to make contact and attend its next meeting.

Please note the Glendale Trust as a community charity currently relies heavily upon donations and grants in order to continue this valuable work. The Trust would welcome any donations no matter how small which can be made securely and very quickly through our on-line donations button, which can be accessed via the website or by clicking here.

We look forward to your continued support moving forward in this exciting project. The report is available to download here – GT-NSB-Report-Final.V2

Farmers Market Feasibility Completed

The Glendale Trust is very pleased to present the completed Glendale Farmers Market Final Report Combined.

The report indicates that there is very strong support for the delivery of this Glendale Growth Plan project from the community and businesses in the area.

The working group set up to deliver the project is meeting in the Glendale Hall meeting room on Wednesday 11th February at 7:30pm would welcome the support of anyone who is interested in in delivering this project over the summer of 2015.

For any of you who are not aware 2015 is the Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink so it is an excellent opportunity to showcase the local produce and rich larder of Glendale.

Glendale Film

Delighted to pass on details of the Glendale entry to the FilmG community film competition. This mini documentary examines some of the interesting history of the area as well as detailing the recent Cemetery Wall project.

This video will hopefully be one of the exhibits in the proposed heritage center at Borrodale School building on the foundation work that has already taken place to record the rich history of Glendale and its people.

The video can be viewed and voted for by clicking here the quality of the video will depend on your internet connection however it can also be provided via a dropbox file in order that you can download and view in better quality.

If the video receives enough votes it will be nominated for an award at the ceremony in March which would be a fantastic way to thank those who worked so hard to create it. Please like and share on facebook or pass on the link to all those with connections to the area as a way of thanking all the people involved!

If you are interested in further developing the heritage project or are interested in creating another community entry for the competition please get in touch as the programme for 2015 has already started!