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February 27, 2008

Community win the right to buy their jetty

The community in Salen, Argyll have taken a significant first step towards securing control over how an important local facility will be developed in the future. The historic stone jetty at Salen provides launching and landing facilities and access to the local hotel and shops for visiting yachts


A Salen community project is celebrating a milestone of having their land interest approved by the Scottish Executive, for the Jetty, house and shop site at Salen. This will give the community of Salen an opportunity to directly control the historic stone jetty, along with producing an income stream, generated from the house, shop unit, jetty fees and possible services, such as toilets, showers and laundry.

The issue of community ownership of the jetty, was first raised 2 years ago at an open meeting in Acharacle where local people were concerned that should the jetty be sold, then all access for launching and landing at the Salen end of Loch Sunart, could be lost. This would be a blow for local fishermen and pleasure boat users as well as visitor on boats that use Salen as safer shelter in poor weather and to land and use the local shop in Acharacle and the hotel in Salen. From that initial meeting, a group was formed to work towards this goal.

Stewart Ritchie, chair of Salen Community Company, said, “ this is the milestone that the community has been working to. Now we have got this far, we will have to work very hard over the next 6 months to raise the funds needed to complete the purchase”.

The local community has already expressed its support for the project, with nearly 50% of the community signing a support petition and joining the company as members. It is now up to the community to work up a feasibility study and business plan that will support funding applications to the Big Lottery, Highlands and Island Enterprise, The Crown Estates as well as other funders.

The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 allows community groups to register an interest in land and then progress a sale when the land becomes available for sale. It offers community groups the opportunity to purchase important parts of their community and to take control of their future.

Salen Community Company gratefully acknowledges the financial support so far from HIE Lochaber and the Community Land Unit.