Four years ago the first community buyout in south Scotland took place when the Mull of Galloway Trust took possession of the Mull of Galloway Estate from the Northern Lighthouse Board.
The South Rhins Community Development Trust was instrumental in getting the Mull of Galloway Trust off the ground and the Trust is indebted to Donald McColm, Steve Hardy and Maureen Chand.
One of their greatest supporters was the former MSP for South of Scotland Dr Aileen MacLeod – not only has she visited the Mull on a number of occasions but she oversaw the ballot count and then led a Members Business debate at Holyrood in support of the buyout.
The Northern Lighthouse Board played a key role in this community buyout. Since around 2004 they have given the South Rhins Community Development Trust a licence to run tours up to the top of the Lighthouse Tower and in 2009 they, together with the Heritage Lottery, Dumfries & Galloway Council and the Lighthouse Museum helped us open up the Lighthouse Exhibition.
Ian Webster who was the former Estates Officer with NLB was been a great source of help to the Trust and was been our main contact in Edinburgh. Ian retired in 2014 but still keeps in touch to find out how the Trust is progressing.
The Trust is now self-financing due to the increased number of guests booking the three former Lighthouse Keepers’ cottages which are self-catering holiday houses. We are also in a position to help the local community in a range of ways – financing the local primary school’s transport costs, organising community arts and craft workshops, providing handheld radios for the local resilience groups and organising events.
The next event will be a Celebration of Thomas Telford at Port Logan on July 22-23.
For more information visit www.mull-of-galloway.co.uk.