Plans to create Scotland’s first community owned school in the west Highlands are edging closer to reality as a fundraising bid nears its target.
The directors behind Strontian Community School said they are “confident” they will meet the minimum target of £100,000 raised through a community share offer.
The volunteer group hopes to develop and own a new primary school in the remote Lochaber village.
The will then lease it back to Highland Council.
The project is being developed by Strontian Community School Ltd (SCSB), which has been running a share offer scheme to generate funds since December.
A push on the streets last weekend brought the total raised through this £82,400 – £18,000 short of the minimum target needed to confirm the project.
Since then a surge of interest has brought the tally to £98,800.
The offer closes on Tuesday, February 28 – and the group now expect to surpass their minimum target..
SCSB chairman Donald McCorkindale said: “It is really encouraging to be a part of a project based on a new model of community provision.
“We are confident that with the financial support and engagement from the local community and beyond the project is viable”
Surplus funding would lessen the loan required towards the build, which will come from Triodos Bank.
Grant funding has also been secured from the Scottish Land Fund and the local common good fund, which distributes profit from the village hydro scheme.
The council has given its blessing to the Ardnamurchan community in principle to develop the project.
The council, as tenant, would assume responsibility for maintenance and running costs of the building.
The building would be built on a plot of land next to Ardnamurchan High School.
Residents opted to build their own school after learning that the council could not afford to replace the existing dilapidated 34-pupil, two-classroom primary.