Major grant awarded for Staffin housing, health and business development

A MUCH-needed affordable housing, health and business development in Staffin has taken a major step forward after securing a significant government grant.

Staffin Community Trust (SCT) is delighted to confirm that it has been awarded £231,700 from the Scottish Land Fund. It comes after full planning permission was secured from Highland Council for the development, near Staffin Primary School, earlier this year.

SCT is working in partnership with the Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust and Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association to deliver a total of seven new affordable homes, which would be the first built in Staffin for almost 20 years when the land at the old school was developed. The new development includes two business units and a storage base.

The grant will help SCT purchase the development site land from the Kilmuir Estate and Stenscholl Township and  the current Staffin Surgery from NHS Highland. It will also pay for legal costs, quantity surveyor fees and employing a person to manage the units once they are built.

The latter transaction would see the surgery move into one of the new units with the NHS as a long-term tenant and the current surgery converted into an affordable home.

Looking across to the housing site in Stenscholl.

The development has enjoyed strong community and political support. In recent years the community has suffered a significant population decline, with the lack of accommodation for young people and families closely linked. SCT is determined to combat that challenge and ensure the community’s sustainability.

There is still plenty of work to do before construction work starts, including the Resumption of the site as it is currently part of the Stenscholl common grazing.  SCT chairman Sandy Ogilvie said the SLF award was a real vote of confidence in the development.

“It’s immensely rewarding to have this support from the Scottish Land Fund which follows all the backing the trust has received from external agencies,” he said. “Our housing development is hugely important for the future of our community and the school roll.”

SCT has already received several expressions of interest in the new homes.