A local development officer has been employed to help a fragile community create an economic, social, and cultural plan for their future growth. South Kintyre Development Trust, has recruited Malcolm McMillan through an initiative being run by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
HIE is supporting around 50 communities in the most fragile areas of the Highlands and Islands by funding key posts to work locally with a range of community groups. There are now over 10 community groups across Argyll and the Islands supported in this way by HIE.
Local Coastguard volunteer Malcolm has a breadth of experience in working on community projects.
He said: "I was brought up in Campbeltown attending the local grammar school, then completed an HND with the Scottish Agricultural College and finally attaining a degree in Sustainable Environmental Management awarded by the University of Edinburgh. I'm interested in all things sustainable and working with the trust allows me to put those principles into practice. I have worked with the trust since 2009 and have been responsible for delivering their Powerdown projects and developing the areas first community action plan."
The South Kintyre Development Trust covers the area south of Clachan on the Kintyre Peninsula. Kintyre itself is only 11 miles from west to east and around 30 miles long. Despite its small size there are around 10,000 people in the peninsula and over 7,500 in the South Kintyre area.
The South Kintyre Development Trust was established in 2008 and registered as a charity in 2010. It has undertaken a number of successful projects including various renewable energy schemes through the Community Powerdown initiative.
As present, the Trust has seven Directors from across South Kintyre. All residents over the age of 18 are entitled to full membership of the Trust for only £1 a year and are welcome to attend and vote at all General meetings.
Trevor Oxborrow of the South Kintyre Development Trust, said, said: " SKDT are delighted to be included in the HIE Community Account Management project. We are excited at the plans we have for the future of South Kintyre and having a dedicated Local Development Officer in place through HIE will be of real benefit.
"Malcolm has already undertaken a number of projects in previous roles within the community, so he is the perfect choice as Local Development Officer. We are now working with HIE and local people to create a development plan which will inform us as to which direction the Trust should take to benefit the whole community."
As well as being part funded by the European Union's LEADER programme, support is also provided from a HIE member of staff. HIE development manager Claire Gibb will be working closely with the community group.
"We are assisting SKDT to complete an ambitious development plan." said Claire. "The community itself will control and drive the development and we will be on hand to provide the support they need. We want to help communities carry out sustainable community action planning and deliver projects of direct benefit to them."