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Westray Development Trust

Facts & Figures

Organisation Name

Westray Development Trust

People Benefiting

The whole island population

Area Served

Island of Westray, Orkney




Westray is the largest of Orkney’s North Isles that until the mid 90’s was characterized by depopulation, a decline in traditional industries (agriculture and fishing), a limited range of employment opportunities and geographical remoteness that was adversely affecting the cost of living and the provision of services. The development trust was established in 1998 in response to these challenges.  Many of the projects included in the initial strategic plan have now been achieved, for example the establishment of a youth centre, the construction of a care centre in partnership with Orkney Islands Council, and the commissioning of a community owned wind turbine. Current projects include a golf course development, projects to assist economic development, and ongoing management of the youth centre and the community owned wind turbine.


Legal Form

Company limited by guarantee with charitable status.




2 permanent and 2 project staff

Earned Income



Westray Renewable Energy Ltd

Value of assets


Roots & Links


The development trust was established in 1998 in response to the challenges outlined in the sketch above. Following Westray’s inclusion in the government programme ‘Initiative at the Edge’, a conference was attended by over 400 people and a strategic plan, ‘Turning the Tide’ was developed.


Members of the trust must be full time residents of the island. A voluntary board of up to 15 directors is voted annually at the AGM by trust members.


Community Links

The trust links with local people/groups through regular newsletters, posting information in shop windows, and meets regularly with the Westray Community Council.

External Links

The trust represent the communities interests to external stakeholders through involvement in the Community Planning Partnership, Renewable Energy Forum, attends a Steering Group of Development Officers from surrounding areas and attends relevant Council forums.



Physical Hub

The Trust operates from its office, situated on Quarry Road, Pierowall.

Builds Local Capacity

Working closely with Volunteer Action Orkney, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Community Energy Scotland and Orkney Islands Council to develop emerging and sustain existing capacity initiatives.

Delivers Services

A range of services have been developed and in some cases the operational management has been handed over. The Kalisgarth Care home for example was a Trust initiative, which is now operated by Orkney Islands Council.

The Trust funds other services such as the Learning Centre, a home care service and the Hofn youth hub

Develops/Manages Services

Yes, we have aspirations to develop a range of housing to suit a range of needs



Current projects include: • Housing, Quarrying, Joint Emergency Services Building, Tourism Development, Community Broadband Solutions


Main Achievements

The development of a grant system, funded by the income generated by the community owned wind farm, which offers funding up to 80% of the total costs of the project or event to a maximum of £50,000 per application.

What Next

Biggest Challenge

Developing long term financial sustainability.

Lesson Learned

The organisation, within a very short period of time, developed from a grant applicant to a grant provider which needed a brand new set of skills to manage effectively.


To improve the economic, social and cultural sustainability of our community by harnessing the quality of our resources, people and island environment.



Andy Makin


Operations Manager

Address Line 1

Unit 1, Quarry Road, Pierowall, Westray

Address Line 2

KW17 2DF