Community group secures final funding

The photograph shows Dr. Paul Hocken handing over the cheque to Director and treasurer Diane James.
The photograph shows Dr. Paul Hocken handing over the cheque to Director and treasurer Diane James.

At the first annual general meeting of the Mull of Galloway Trust, held in the church hall, Drummore last Wednesday evening, the outgoing chairman Donald McColm revealed that the Trust had managed to secure the final £4,000 required for the purchase of the Mull of Galloway.

The grant has been awarded by the Galloway Association of Glasgow, an independent Scottish charitable trust. President of the Trust Angus Rex said: “The Galloway Association of Glasgow is delighted to be able to support the community buyout, to protect and develop this famous Galloway location to the benefit of the local people and its many visitors. The Association, founded in 1791, continues to provide financial assistance to projects that benefit non-commercial good causes within Galloway, particularly the arts, education, community groups and individuals.”

This award now means that the Mull of Galloway Trust has secured the full purchase price of £300,000 required for the community purchase of the 30 acre site, which includes the three cottages, exhibition, RSPB centre and fog horn. It does not include the actual lighthouse tower that remains in the ownership of the Northern Lighthouse Board.

In his chairman’s report, Donald McColm paid tribute to the hard work of director Maureen Chand who, using her past experience, took on the responsibility of the preparation and submission of the applications for funding as well as the business plan. Without her hard work the MofG Trust would not be in the position of being able to make the purchase.

He also thanked the community for their support of the M of G Trust, in particular the result of the ballot that showed that of those who voted, over 98 per cent were in full support of the community buyout.

Mr McColm went onto to inform those members present that it was planned for the South Rhins Community Development Trust to carry out the day to day running of the site, in particular the management of the three former lighthouse cottages that will continue to be used as holiday lets, whilst the National Trust for Scotland will, for the present time, continue as letting agents.

The following Directors and Office bearers were appointed.

Chair-Maureen Chand, Vice-chair Donald McColm, Treasurer-Diane James, Company Secretary-Stephen Hardy, Alex Peebles, Alastair Scott, Harvey Sloan, George Sephton. Representatives of the RSB, Northern Lighthouse Board and Kirkmaiden Community Council will also be appointed once those organisations make their selection.

At the close of the meeting, Dr Paul Hocken, the chairman of the now dissolved Kirkmaiden Initiative presented to the Treasurer Diane James a cheque for £10,000. That and an additional amount of £1,000 from the former community mini-bus fund completes the £15,000 required for the purchase. The grant from the Scottish Land Fund covered 95 per cent of the £300,000 purchase price.

Additional funding received from Awards for All and the Scottish Land Fund is to be used for specific purposes, including amongst other things a website.