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Future of Skye day centre secured after significant award from Scottish Land Fund

Fundraising cyclists are welcomed back by users of Kyleakin Connections
Fundraising cyclists are welcomed back by users of Kyleakin Connections

The future of a Skye day centre for adults with learning difficulties has been secured thanks to an award of more than £24,000 from the Scottish Land Fund.

Kyleakin Connections, which operates out of the Old School House in the south Skye village, has been granted a £24,580 share of £3.6million worth of funding being distributed to 16 groups today (Sat).

The funding will allow Kyleakin Connections to purchase the building from Highland Council allowing for further development and expansion.

Plans are already underway to deliver a new two-room base to allow for more one-to-one interaction for service users, with the centre keen to open up the £200,000 extension for use by the local community.

Dr Audrey Sinclair, chairwoman of Kyleakin Connections, said the organisation is “delighted”.

She said: “Kyleakin Connections has been fortunate for many years to have a loyal group of members and friends and we are grateful for their support and encouragement with this project.

“At a time of so much uncertainty and sad news during this Covid-19 crisis, it is refreshing to be able to bring some good news into the community and give everyone something to look forward to.”

The organisation is now working towards incorporating more flexible and varied activities to meet the needs of service users.

Sandra Holmes, head of community assets at Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), said the projects being awarded funds “are all great examples of people taking control of local resources for the long-term benefit of their communities”.

She added: “Ownership will give these communities greater control over important assets and will help ensure its long-term future.

“We wish all the successful groups the very best in their new ventures.”

Other projects receiving Scottish Land Fund cash across the north and north east are Colonsay Community Development Company, Dunnet Forestry Trust, South Islay Development, Shapinsay Development Trust, Stronsay Development Trust, Dornoch Area Community Interest Company, Strathglass and Affric Community Company, The Ridge SCIO in Dunbar, and North Ronaldsay Trust.

Shapinsay Development Trust has received the largest funding, with £237,125 to go towards purchasing two properties which will be developed for affordable rented housing for residents on Orkney.

Colonsay Community Development Company will use their £214,000 award to purchase a former Baptist Manse on the island to create temporary accommodation on the island, with Dunnet Forestry Trust able to purchase 260 acres of forest to compliment a successful wood fuel and wood products business by developing a community amenity for the local area.

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