Issued by Kilfinan Community Forest Company:
Kilfinan Community Forest (KCFC) is entering an exciting new phase in its development thanks to funding from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and LEADER.
The money will support the one-year 'Phase 3 Development Project' that aims to increase the charity's income-generating capacity by establishing a timber processing yard and garden retail outlet.
In addition, the project will build 500 metres of vital access road into the forest and will create three new jobs. HIE and LEADER are both contributing £79,100 to the project and KCFC is contributing £23,300.
Eamon King, Development Officer at KCFC, said: 'This is incredibly exciting news. The most important thing about this project is that it will help us become financially self-reliant and no longer reliant on public funding. From this strong position, we'll be able to develop a truly sustainable forest resource for our community.'
The road is a key development, as it will provide an 'artery' into the forest. It will enable the charity to start harvesting a number of stands of timber to raise money. It also means that other planned recreational projects, such as walking and cycling trails through the forest, can be progressed more easily over the coming years.
The timber processing yard, with an industrial-grade milling machine, will allow the charity to deliver a professional timber supply and delivery service to the local area and beyond. This will not only develop a new income stream for KCFC, but will be a valuable service for local people too. The garden retail outlet will sell a small range of essential garden and forest products, including seasoned fuel wood from the forest.
KCFC will be recruiting a Forest Resource Manager, a Forest Resource Worker and a Forest Resource Administrator to deliver this project. The posts will be advertised over the coming months, so keep an eye on www.kilfinancommunityforest.com and in the local press.