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March 17, 2010

Money in Muck

Every community needs a focal point – a place to meet, run classes, hold events,  have fun.  For years the residents of the tiny island of Muck made do with a barn or the island’s classroom.  Three years ago the island’s 38 residents decided they wanted something that was more fit for purpose and started to fundraise.   Having generated £15000 from their own activities, the islanders have just hit the jackpot with a couple of applications

The community on the Island of Muck were delighted to hear just before Christmas that the BIG Lottery (Growing Community Assets scheme) had awarded The Isle of Muck Community Enterprise Ltd £338,042 for the proposed new Community Hall.

This exciting news followed on from a successful application for £278,080 from the Scottish Rural Development Fund (SRDP) – Rural Priorities which was announced in September 2009.

These awards are a tremendous boost for the community and mean that the funding is almost all in place for the project. It can now progress to building warrant stage and then a tendering process will be undertaken for a building contractor and it is hoped that the hall will be built and in use for Summer 2011.

Currently there is no central building for community events on Muck. They usually take place in the school room or in a barn at the farm, both of which have to be cleared out first and are not always available. To have a purpose built building with facilities for sporting, social, cultural and educational activities will make a huge difference and help to sustain a fragile rural community.

The community of 38 started fund-raising to build their first Community Hall on the island in May 2007, and to date has raised over £ I 0,000 themselves through fund-raising events, activities and donations. The recent fund-raising ceilidh in Edinburgh was a resounding success, with an impressive £2,600 being raised from the evening. Everyone enjoyed  a wonderful evening of dancing with the Occasionals ceilidh band and home made and local island produce being served for the ceilidh supper.

A photographic competition was held last year and the winning entries used to create an ‘Isle of Muck’ 20 I 0 calendar and other merchandise. Fundraising activities will continue as the project progresses. The community is very grateful for all the support and help it has received from so many people and businesses which has enabled it to get to this point.

Catherine Murray John