New £1.8million Skye community hub preparing to open its doors

A brand new £1.8million community hall and shop on the isle of Skye is preparing to open its doors.

An Crubh in Sleat is situated just above the A851 where it passes through Duisdale and Camuscross.

The Gaelic name means the hub of a wheel. The building will offer a shop and post office, cafe, a community hall, meeting room, exhibition space, toilets and showers, serving the local community and visitors.

It is one of the first projects of its kind to open in Scotland, developed, owned and run by a local community as a social enterprise. The business venture will sustain the community hall under the same roof, providing year-round employment, and showcasing local produce.

Construction, by Highland firm Compass, was completed late last month and the building was handed over to its owners, community group Camuscross and Duisdale Initiative (CDI).

Now the social enterprise is looking to take on staff.

Mark Wringe, chairman of CDI, said: “We are very proud of our new building. Both the cafe and the hall have spectacular views where we sit above the Sound of Sleat, and the builders and architects have provided us with an exciting facility that is both practical and beautiful, with natural materials predominating.

“Even the stone was all sourced from the site. We want what we offer in the shop and cafe to be as impressive as the building itself, and we need ambitious staff to achieve that.”

The first key post has already been filled. Sharon Campbell, who comes with valuable experience from Sleat Community Trust, takes up the post of business development manager next month.

Meanwhile, An Crubh is currently advertising the posts of cook/cafe manager, assistant cafe manager, shop/post office manager, and assistant shop manager, with interviews to be held in early February. More new jobs will follow.

Another director, Susan Walker, added: “It is fantastic to see our own hard work and the confidence placed in us by the funding bodies become reality. In the space of just one year, we’ve gone from local children symbolically cutting the first turf to having an amazing facility.”

The shop and cafe will open in time for Easter, and the first event in the hall will be a fundraiser on February 25.

An Crubh was funded by Big Lottery Fund, the Coastal Communities Fund, HIE, Robertson Trust and Highland Council.