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March 31, 2010

A life less ordinary in South Kintyre

A church, a medical centre, accommodation for 400 people, sports and recreational facilities for the same number and around 200 other buildings.  Sounds like an ordinary village. Add in a 10,000 foot runway, an aircraft  hanger and 1000 acres of land and it starts to sound anything but ordinary.  To suggest that the local community want to buy it – lock, stock and barrel – is extraordinary

Extract from latest update from the Machrahanish Airbase Community Company website
The future of Machrihanish Airbase could be in your hands!

We have now successfully registered our right to buy – see, registration no. CB00112. This set a 6 month clock ticking and we have to be ready to put in our bid to buy the airbase by August 11th 2010. The Scottish Government’s appointed valuer has been to see the site and the next stage is the valuation, the result of which is due on April 14th. We will then have 28 days in which to conduct the Community Ballot. In order for the right to buy to be successful, 50% of the electorate in the PA28 6 area must turn out to vote and of those >50% must vote in favour of a buy out. In order to buy the airbase we must also provide a business plan by August 11th. To this end we have provided a questionnaire so that members of the community can input their ideas into the plan.

The MACC proposal for community aquisition of the property was presented to a packed public meeting on 4th. March 2009 in Campbeltown’s Lorne & Lowland Church. Well over 10% of the local population have now filled in and returned the Supporters and Membership Form. Why not join them? To be a voting member you must live in PA28 6 area but we also welcome supporters and non-voting members.

Why a Community Company?
1.    The site would remain in one piece
2.    All assets put to good use
3.    Benefits would accrue to the Community
4.    The Community would dictate the future
5.    The Community Company is accountable to the Community
6.    Extended collective opportunities

Risks without a Community Company
1.    The site could be bought and split up
2.    Only the good bits put to use
3.    Benefits accrue to profit
4.    The community would have no say in its future use
5.    Another absentee landlord?
6.    Lost collective opportunities

Collective assets
·       A large variety of around 200 buildings, including: a huge aircraft hanger; own church; own medical centre; vast workshops; bars & clubs catering for 500
·       A 10,000 foot runway
·       A number of utilities: oil; electricity; private water supply
·       Sports facilities for football, tennis, & squash
·       Accommodation for approximately 400
·       Exceptional access
·       More than 1,000 acres of land
·       PLUS: A substantial number of opportunities for the community of South Kintyre