The transition from iGallery to Café Ceàrdach.

One of our community owned business premises was formerly known as the iGallery. It housed the local visitor information point, showcased & retailed local craft work, art and produce. This was run by volunteers and proved to be a success, appreciated by visitors and locals alike. It opened 6 months a year and in the winter months the venue was used to host meetings, seminars, adult learning events, a Christmas Craft Fair and classes in a wide range of rural and vocational subjects. Some of our local craft exhibitors went on to grow their starter businesses or even open their own shops.

LCDC is committed to creating jobs, training opportunities and community led development in the area and at the Smithy Hub. There has been a demand for greater on site service provision (from both locals and visitors), So it was decided to expand the iGallery from it’s roots as a craft space, training venue and visitor information point, into a Cafe/ Deli as well. It will be called Café Ceàrdach,  Ceàrdach is the Gaelic for ‘Smithy’, named after the original building on site, the 200yr old Blacksmiths Building.  Café Ceàrdach will be open all year around and provide local jobs and learning opportunities, on site catering for a range of requirements, a dedicated local produce retail outlet, whilst continuing to provide an important information service to visitors and an outlet for local producers, crafters, artists and micro businesses to sell their work and access a wider customer base. The cafe aspect of the project will attract more visitors to the Smithy hub, keep people in the area for longer and provide catering for students and visitors to the other businesses on site. It is owned and run by LCDC, with managers and assistants employed for the day to day running of the project.
The ethos of the cafe is very much in keeping with that of LCDC, about community, sustainability, local heritage, culture, rural skills, minimal waste, responsible consumerism, community resilience, inclusivity, education, low carbon footprint, supporting local businesses and tourism,  promoting, educating about and protecting our  environment.

The cafe will also have a bike store, a water bottle refill point, and electric car recharge points. It will be heated in the winter by a cosy wood-burning stove, which will burn logs from out local community woodland.

Upon completion of the Café, the Smithy hub will become a perfect way to spend the day with shopping, crafts workshops, events, catering, a short scenic walk, picnic tables, and unique Tree House venue for hire. The Former Blacksmiths building on site now houses a working studio pottery and teaching facility. Lochcarron Candles operate out of an adjacent crafts unit, hand pouring quality fragranced candles. Next to the Cafe is Kiki’s craft corner, open all year for retailing everything the textile artist, knitters, spinners and quilters could need, this also runs a comprehensive programme of training courses.

LCDC also has ongoing projects in Kirkton community woodland, including working with Lochcarron School pupils, building a sensory trail, and an affordable housing project.

Work on Café Ceàrdach is progressing we hope to be open in the coming weeks.
You can follow the building progress HERE.

You can also get all the latest news and photographs on our FaceBook page HERE.

and follow us on instagram HERE.


this project is funded by;


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Job vacancy- Café Ceàrdach

Lochcarron Community Development Company,

The Smithy Hub, Ribhuachan, Strathcarron,


Part Time General Assistant

20 hours per week

Starting late June


Just get in touch

01520 722490

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Invitation to Tender for Trail construction in Kirkton Woods.

Invitation to Tender

Trail Construction Contract: 150m ‘as dug’ trail – Kirkton Woods, Lochcarron

With financial assistance from the EU LEADER programme, the Community Woodlands Association invites tenders for the construction of a section of new recreational trail in Kirkton Woods.

Situated north of Lochcarron village on the A896, Kirkton Woods are owned by Lochcarron Community Development Company (LCDC). LCDC are developing a new network of trails within the property – across areas of recently clear-felled plantation for the benefit of the local community and visitors.

Contractors wishing to familiarise themselves with the location, terrain and indicative trail line are invited to visit the woods (pedestrian access from A896/forest road junction). The intended trail route is marked with blue survey flags and shown on the accompanying map (over). A site inspection with CWA’s project manager ( may be possible at a mutually agreeable time during w/c 4th June.

Specification: The finished trail will have a nominal 1.4m width and be constructed primarily from underlying mixed gravel/sand/clay deposits – taken from locally dug (then back-filled) borrow pits along its length. Organic material (peaty soils, roots/stumps) would be stripped from the trail line to reach a load-bearing subsoil with stripped material sensitively dispersed and landscaped on adjacent ground. Then as-dug material to be deposited and built up on this base and compacted to provide a smooth, finished trail surface. The finished trail surface should be higher than neighbouring ground level and appropriately compacted/finished to make it hard wearing and able to shed any surface water as well as resist groundwater ingress (e.g. using grade reversals along its length or instatement/reinstatement of drains in the vicinity of the trail).

Timescale:    The nominated contractor must complete all works by the end of July 2019. The earliest Start Date would be after tender deadline and award of contract (estimated 18th June).

Contract Terms:    This is a fixed price contract, awarded on assessment of Price, Experience/Competence and Proximity to Kirkton Woods (equal weighting). The Community Woodlands Association is the client and will take on contract management and a site supervisory role A pre-commencement meeting will be required to discuss and agree work methodology, environmental/archaeology protection as well as public safety. The contractor is required to have public liability insurance (minimum £3 million cover) and is expected to manage the day-to-day implementation of all aspects of the contract to the agreed working method (i.e. safety signage, accident reporting etc).

Tender Requirements:      A standard template has been created for completion and submission of necessary contract tender information (attached).

Tender Submission Deadline:      Tenders to be submitted by email to no later than 9am 15th June 2019.



Trail Construction Contract: 150m ‘as dug’ trail – Kirkton Woods, Lochcarron

 Name of Business/Organisation:

 Total Fixed Contract Price (incl VAT):    ………………………………………..


Brief Description of Delivery Method: (e.g. no. of workers, types of machinery, contract duration, method etc)



Example(s) of previous relevant experience: (what, when, for whom, where?)


PLI/ELI Insurance cover & value:    …………………………………

Contact Details for tender response/further discussion:


Tender Submissions must be received by email by 9am 15th June 2019 to:

CWA Woodland Project Manager: Chris Marsh


PDF version of above available HERE;
CWA LCDC Trails Contract ITT final – 24may19

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Last weekend we had a workparty up at Kirkton Woodland to assemble the shelter.  Steve Patch was our supervisor over the two days he expertly co-ordinated eight of us to build the shelter.  Thanks to Steve’s friend Norman, John Murphy, Les Bates, Robbie & James Brown, Chris MacDonald, Toby Speight & George Hendry for all their hard work over the two days.  Prior to these dates Steve Patch, John Murphy and two colleagues of Steve’s volunteered their time.  Steve has also expertly managed to avoid having his photo taken!  See below are a few photos of our volunteers working away.  It was awful weather on Saturday so a huge thank you to Steve Patch, Toby, Robbie and James for soldiering on in dismal conditions.  We are extremely grateful to everyone who volunteered their time.  The shelter will be used by volunteer groups & school children as part of their outdoor learning.  There are still a few jobs needing to be completed so if you would like to offer some time to help please do get in touch with Kristine Mackenzie on
We are very grateful for Scottish Seafarms for funding this project.

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Lochcarron Market day, 31st May 2019.

Market day is 31st this month, the usual delicious range of homecooked food for lunch and great quality local crafts and produce. Please note it will be open for an hour longer that usual as well !

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Sensory trail and Beach clean up- News

LCDC is building a sensory trail within the community woodland thanks to The Postcode Local Trust.  The initial groundworks of the trail have been carved out and a series of workshops engaging with Lochcarron primary school have taken place.

The sensory trail will be built as a lasting feature within the woodland.  Complimented by the creation of two Mythical Monster sculptures; fashioned from salvaged natural materials & flotsam / jetsom from our shoreline.  The legacy of the two mythical monster structures will provide a connection between Land and Sea.     Project co-ordinator Lynda Beveridge has ran a series of workshops exploring the effects of waste to our environment. Using a rope timeline the pupils discovered the length of the waste’s disintegration and learned about bioaccumulation (The cycle of plastic through the absorption into the food chain) through a fun game involving lots of hunting one another.

An organised beach clean at Tornapress on Friday 3rd May  was hugely successful, resulting in over 27 bags of waste being cleared from the shoreline by the pupils who worked diligently all morning.  Mostly plastic, rope & polystyrene were collected.  As  for our monsters?  – A nail gun, boots, car parts, a paddle & hard helmet to name but a few odd objects.  Who knows what our Mythical Monsters will turn out to look like?

(Thanks to Lynda for this report.)

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Photos from April Market day 2019

Many thanks to everyone who supported our first Market day of the season, A special thanks to all the kitchen volunteers who provided another delicious lunch for everyone. We had plenty of visitors and craft stalls, including some newcomers which is always great to see.
Our next one is May 31st, get in touch at if you’d like to book a stall.
( many thanks to Lynne for the photos )


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