A project to create waterfront facilities and a community hub at one of the most remote communities on a west coast island has secured up to £249,885 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
Ulva Ferry is situated on the far western coast of the Isle of Mull, with a 40-minute drive on single track roads to the nearest town of Tobermory.
The £852,475 project is being taken forward by the Mull and Iona Community Trust (MICT), which has led several projects at Ulva Ferry for more than a decade.
These have included six new homes, and a transport scheme that uses a hybrid minibus and electric car to connect Ulva Ferry with shops, health services and social activities across Mull.
A new pontoon has also been installed for visiting yachts, and car park, and motorhome pitches created with electric and water hook-ups and chemical waste disposal for visitors.
This latest initiative will see development of a new building to provide facilities for visitors and residents.
It will also act as a community hub, providing much needed space for the growing local community.
The building will include toilets, showers, laundrette and kitchen, as well as a storeroom and office, and a multifunction room.
Since 2011, MICT has focused on the recovery and resilience of the Ulva Ferry population and wider community.
The Trust has secured support from the likes of the Rural and Islands Housing Fund, Argyll and Bute Council, the Green Bus Investment Fund, Plugged in Communities, Inspiring Scotland, Coastal Communities Fund, Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund, the Scottish Land Fund and HIE.
Around 150 people now live and work in the community and the local primary school roll has more than doubled.
HIE has been working with MICT for more than 15 years.
The agency views the work of the Trust as helping to make Scotland fairer, wealthier and greener by complementing the National Strategy for Economic Transformation.
Morag Goodfellow, HIE’s area manager for Argyll and the Islands said:
“Supporting the strengthening of community resilience, particularly in our most remote areas, is a crucial part of our remit and fundamental to our region’s economy.
“We work with community organisations across the Highlands and Islands to support projects that build capacity and bring economic and social benefits.
“MICT is a great example.
“This latest initiative by the Trust will generate much needed income at Ulva Ferry.
“It will add more value to community owned assets by enhancing the visitor offering, and it will further strengthen community and population resilience.
“I am delighted we have been able to provide support and look forward to seeing the project take shape.”
Moray Finch, MICT’s general manager said:
“The whole team is delighted with the support from HIE to get this project over the line for the Ulva Ferry community.
“From the support ten years ago for the Local Development Officer, HIE has stood beside us helping to strengthen the Ulva Ferry Community, we just couldn’t have achieved what we have without HIE.”