Bad news and good news.
As many of you are aware we applied at the end of last year for Lottery funding for around half the costs of the proposed community owned Dairy & Cafe complex at the Smithy.
Sadly the competition for Lottery funding was high with only 14% of applications being successful, ours was not. While we were able to demonstrate wide community support for the project, it was felt at this time that the management group, LCDC is spread too thin across multiple projects ( forest management, housing, smithy hub, visitor information, venue hire, training courses, heritage, iGallery, market days, schools engagement, firewood business etc ) with too few appropriately skilled and experienced people to manage the workloads.
The good news is however, after a lengthy meeting with HIE, West Highland Dairy and the LCDC board today, that we feel we have a Plan B. We propose to scale down the project, remove the cafe and training facilities from the building and half the costs. This makes it more realistically achievable to find funding for and builds on all the work which has been done up this point, rather than walk away and concede defeat.
We will now be setting up a new Dairy trading arm board to steer the project forward and also seek nominations for new LCDC board members to join and help get this exciting project off the ground to benefit the whole community. The AGM is on the 27th February 7.30 at the smithy, we hope as many of you as possible can attend and nominate new board members or stand yourselves.