Highlands & Islands

Achiltibuie pushes ahead with community wind turbine bid

People at site of community wind turbine
Image caption The wind turbine is a community venture

A small Wester Ross community has submitted a planning application for a community-owned wind turbine.

Funds raised from the sale of electricity generated will be put towards projects in Achiltibuie, which has a population of 300 people.

Coigach Community Development Company (CCDC) is leading the wind turbine venture.

The organisation has also been trying to breath new life into a former smokehouse in Achiltibuie.

CCDC chairman Iain Muir said the local area, like other remote and fragile communities, had been hit "disproportionally hard" by the downturn in the economy.

'Tremendous community'

The community was also hit by the closures of Achiltibuie Hydroponicum, where exotic fruits and plants were grown in large greenhouses, and Summer Isles Foods' smokehouse.

Mr Muir said: "Despite this, Achiltibuie and the other villages in Coigach are a tremendous community and we want to keep it as a great place to live, work and play.

"But we need a dependable income to do something about our underlying infrastructure problems - in particular a lack of affordable housing, crumbling and inadequate piers for our fishing fleet and no workshop space to encourage new businesses."

In February, CCDC was given a £160,700 grant to help it progress a plan to bring the smokehouse into community ownership.

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