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Survey created to select future residents of community-owned island of Ulva

Residents at the ribbon-cutting ceremony
Residents at the ribbon-cutting ceremony

Aspiring island businessmen and women are being asked to think big for some of Scotland’s smallest inhabited islands off the west coast of Mull.

Residents on the community-owned island of Ulva want people to move to the island to start a business, or to run an enterprise from the islands.

After more than 100 people expressed an initial interest in moving to the remote rural island, a survey has been created to select future islanders.

At its height in the 18th and 19th century, Ulva boasted more than 800 residents, but today fewer than  a dozen or so people live on the island. Until recently the Isle of Ulva was in the private ownership, but on June 21 last year, the island was the subject of a successful community buy-out.

The community of Ulva, represented by North West Mull Community Woodland Company Ltd, were able to secure up to £4.4 million in funds from the Scottish Land Fund, and other grants from the Macquarie Group and a crowdfunding campaign to allow it to buy the island.

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The global interest in the community ownership resulted in the community receiving more than 100 expressions of interest to move to the island from all over the world.

In late 2018, the Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust (HSCHT) were appointed by the new owners to design a survey which would allow individuals, families and businesses to express their interest.

The survey, accessed through the HSCHT website, Facebook or Twitter pages, highlights the opportunities available on Ulva, and the sort of skills and experience the community is looking for, for it to become sustainable.

A spokesman for the Ulva community said: “One of the first priorities for the community is a plan to renovate existing dwellings – to provide quality homes for the current two households and for four new-comers.

“This will support the community’s aspiration to regenerate Ulva and grow the population.

“The renovation of the existing houses presents a strong starting point as individuals and or businesses skilled in construction may have immediate employment opportunities to live and work on the island.

“Similar positions may also exist for those experienced in forestry to manage and maintain the lands on Ulva and North West Mull.”

Are you the perfect candidate?

Here is a very much non-comprehensive list of the type of professions, careers and ventures that could make you a perfect candidate for Ulva residency.

  1. Joiners
  2. Roofers
  3. Builders
  4. B&B proprietors
  5. Crofters
  6. Tour guides
  7. Home workers of any kind
  8. Foresters
  9. Electricians
  10. Plumbers

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