Been asked to do a wee story of the Applecross Community Company so far for Lateral North https://www.facebook.com/lateralnorth/?fref=ts.
Applecross is a peninsula on the North West coast of Scotland with a small and spread out population of approximately 220 people. From the east you travel over the highest Pass in Scotland.
This story all began in 2008 when our Filling Station was under threat of closure so the Community formed a Company under the 2003 Land Reform Act Scotland which then proceeded to refurbish and run the Applecross Filling Station
on a volunteer basis, funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the Scottish Rural Development programme and the Community.
Since then the Company has taken over, refurbished
and run the local toilets. This was funded by LEADER, Highland Council and HIE and local contributions.
The Community Broadband scheme was next,
funding to set up the system was provided by Investing in Ideas, Village SOS and Community Broadband Scotland. This has proved challenging both to set up and maintain
and we are hoping to connect via radio link to fibre optic backhaul in the near future.
Funding from Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund enabled the Company to welcome the Internationally renowned Flensberg University into the Community,
hold a Conference on renewable energy,
and hold numerous workshops from wood fuel
to showcasing electric cars.
As result Applecross has become greener with, for example, the installation of several wood fuel stoves burning local wood supplies.
Last year we formed a Community Benefit Society, AppleJuice, which carried out the building of a Community Hydro Scheme,
HighlandEco, the contractors built the scheme while we ran a Share Issue to raise £803,700 to pay for it.
The scheme is capable of producing 90 kWs from run of river. Jamie here putting the finishing touches to the soft ware programs
and Mick showing the school children the workings of the turbine.
And Dougal checking the Pipeline.
This has been the most challenging of all, taking the Community Company around 7 years to plan and develop before Apple Juice funded and built it. It was completed in December 2015 and will provide a future income for the Community to invest in projects to increase capacity and sustainable growth. Working well.
Worth celebrating as some of the team did.