In a ballot on Wednesday, 28 November, the people of the Isle of Jura voted to buy their local shop.
Turnout was high, with 84 percent of eligible residents exercising their right to vote – reflecting the importance of the local shop within the community. Of these, 77 percent voted in favour of the buy-out.
John Potts, Chairman of the Jura Development Trust, said, “We are delighted that the people of Jura wish the Development Trust to buy the shop on behalf of the community. The positive outcome of this ballot is an important step forward in saving the island's only shop and demonstrates the commitment of Jura's people to protecting and developing the community for future generations.”
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has supported the trust through the right to buy process and in making the next application for funding of a four-year project during which the community will purchase the current property, refurbish it and take over operation of the shop.
Claire Hannah, Development Manager with HIE's Community Assets Team, said, "Community ownership can enable people in remote areas to develop a whole range of new opportunities. Across the Highlands and Islands, HIE is helping communities not just to sustain vital local services such as shops and filling stations, but to generate sustainable income streams, create new jobs and increase population."
Providing subsequent stages in the process go smoothly, the trust expects that the shop will begin trading as a Community Interest Company in the spring of 2013.