Big Lottery Fund Scotland has just announced – 27th February – its latest package of funding worth over £3.3 million to six projects across Scotland.
Amongst the six is the Isle of Jura Development Trust, which has been awarded £653,225.
The awards are made from Big Lottery Fund Scotland’s Growing Community Assets programme and are for community acquisitions to help develop and support local economies.
The Jura Development Trust will use their grant to purchase and redevelop the only convenience store and post office on the island.
The plan is not only to take this crucial facility into community ownership but to offer a greater variety and volume of local food and household goods.
The acquisition will secure the future of the shop and its essential support for everyday life for the small community on this .beautifu and rugged island. Employment, training and volunteering opportunities will be increased and the need to travel off the island with the current frequency will be greatly reduced.
Jura Stores is in the centre of Craighouse, the island’s main village, The shop sits directly above the pontoon used by the summer passenger ferry service that runs the spectacular and fast route up the Sound of Jura and into Tayvallich on Loch Sween on the Argyll west coast mainland.
Constructed around 1850, it is a listed building and part of Jura’s heritage.
The shop was put on the market in August 2012 and, with no forthcoming buyers, the potential closure of the store prompted the campaign for the community purchase which is now assured.
John Potts, Chairman of the Jura Development Fund, says: ‘We’re delighted to receive the funding needed to make this project a reality.
‘The grant from Big Lottery Fund Scotland will enable the community to take over ownership of the island’s only shop and refurbish it, making it more accessible and giving it a new lease of life. The shop will be run for the benefit of the community and, with the ongoing support over the first years, we will be able to grow it into a successful and sustainable business which will provide essential goods and services to the island for years to come.
‘Ownership will not simply ‘save the shop’ but will empower the community; increasing its ability to control and influence events and to become confident to take on other challenges and more resilient to future changes.’
Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, Maureen McGinn, says: ‘Today’s awards will fund six very different projects across Scotland. Two projects, in Jura and the Isle of Lewis, will allow rural communities to acquire assets, enabling them to become more sustainable.
Four other projects will help people of all ages who are in vulnerable situations to have a better chance of moving on in their lives to be happier and healthier. The Big Lottery Fund is delighted to fund this inspirational set of projects which, together, will help hundreds of people across the country have a better future.’
Details of the other successful projects announced today are here, at the Big Lottery Fund website.