A view on Fishing,Community and Life on the NW coast of Scotland

Both mornings of thursday and Friday were bright and calm.

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So it was off out to keep the prawns and squats going at the Inn and over the past three days there were large quantities going out on the plates when I was working on Thursday, Saturday and today with all the usual comments. The Europeans are on the move with lots of German, Dutch and French visiting, Belgians, Spanish and Italians not far behind. Both the afternoons the weather turned a little with a northerly breeze getting up on Thursday but good for some.

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Friday morning saw the Hampshire heading south from Shieldaig and as I was heading out to the middle bank she took a turn east into and round Applecross Bay and south then west over to Coal Mor.

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She is a spectacular looking vessel although I think slightly out-of-place in the majestic scenery we are so used to. Not taking anything away from the craftmanship and skill in putting this ship on the water, I prefer the beauty of the dandelion. Turned out that the eight booked into the Inn at 8 o’clock were from the boat. As no one had turned up by twenty-five past we gave their table away as there were another four,and two threes, Gemma and mates being one. So this was source telling us that the eight were from the Hampshire,the fact that they were wearing jackets with Hampshire on them was also a clue. They were all very pleasant and quiet dispelling my prejudice of guys with lots of dosh and ostentatiousness and waited for another table while having a pint or two. We had to keep this info away from Judith as she gets in a bit of a tizzy when coming across a little bit of status!! By the time we passed on the news that the Hampshire guys were in they had their haddock,prawns and haggis and were just about to leave. She still managed to glean that the owner was from her native Yorkshire and I used to think Yorkshire was land locked.

On Friday evening we had a very productive Community Company meeting where progress about the broadband was discussed and all positive apart from the possible delays in procuring the wayleave consents for the relay masts as they have to go through the usual and possibly protracted legal scrutiny. This has to be done before CBS release any of the funding for the project. Hope we can convey this urgency to the party involved. Pressure to carry out work on the toilets as the timescale for Leader funding is fairly uncooperative. They seem to be no longer interested in the actual projects themselves but more about the audits and balance sheets of the fund itself. We will get there. Also we have decided to investigate the possibility of funding for another snowblower for the Bealach. We got away with it this year but may not be so lucky again, we are due a bad winter and a prolonged closure of the Bealach has an adverse economic and social effect on the community.

It was busy last night but went well and enjoyed the late arrival of the four French bikers along with the Shieldaig contingent. Although busy Gemma immediately picked up on the atmosphere where there was a constant chatter of people enjoying themselves. That is one of the pleasure of working the floor is being part of a moment of others lives. I loved the comment from the French biker lady, “Good food and a good smile”. Says a lot for the Boss Lady, after all we just work at her creation.

Another busy lunch and Judith went behind the bar as her ankle was playing up but was quickly in trouble trying to get the 610 teas she ordered for the 8 Germans sitting on the Big Table, off the till, sure there was a button to do this but Joe was not working today so could not show her.

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Later when it was quiet after the lunch rush, Judith, as chair of our Community Company, signed the Lease between the Company and Trust for the rent of the river where we are to put the run of river hydro scheme.

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I have a strong feeling that this was a historic occasion for the Community and it was in typical Applecross fashion that the occasion passed on with very little fuss. Annan witnessed the signing and felt very proud to be asked to do so. He understood well the significance of the signing.

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Comments on: "A “Big Boat” to a Signing." (6)

  1. Is this the actual lease being signed (which to my lawyerly mind suggests planning, grid connection and all other necessary consents have been obtained and construction is about to commence) or an option agreement to take a lease on agreed terms at a date in the future when planning etc. is obtained and construction contracts placed?

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      The lease itself has been signed. All the grid connections, environmental studies, planning permissions etc have been granted but building is hopefully beginning next year. We now have to finance the project and have to watch out for double funding so it will not be grant aided as we will be getting FITs. Could not go to finance agencies until planning and lease were in place. The hard bit starts now, but we are still there.

      • I see. Must be a challenge not only getting the ducks in a row but in the right order as well. And not too many of them. I presume you get some sort of rent free period and a break clause as a window to seek funding and construction and an escape hatch in case it doesn’t come to pass. (Better not answer that, though – I bet the lease has got a confidentiality clause as well!)

      • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

        In my excitement about the signing I missed out the “option” part of the lease signing. However we do not anticipate any further changes as everything in the lease itself has been agreed and ,as said before all other requirements are in place for raising finance. communities are finding it difficult to go down the road we are on and many have dropped off that started before us. So here’s hoping.

  2. Yes, that makes sense. What was signed was an agreement with the estate giving the CC an option to take a lease in terms that are all agreed as set out in an annexe to the agreement (with the only blank to be filled in being the start date) once the finance is secured. That’s the way it works with the big commercial generators (Scottish Power, SSE et al) as well although planning and grid connection rather than finance are usually the imponderables with them.

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