North Uist Development Company (NUDC) is entering an exciting new phase. To shape its new future vision, NUDC is looking for fresh faces on its Board of Directors.
Are you passionate about North Uist? Do you get excited about what we can all achieve when we work together? Would you like to help shape the future of North Uist? If so:
Join us online for our Members' Gathering
Saturday 17th April at 6pm
Follow Zoom Link here
The NUDC Annual General Meeting (AGM) will provide an opportunity to find out more about current projects and showcase how you can get involved! This will then be followed by an exciting talk from Connie Dawson of NatureScot.
We are particularly keen to meet younger people in the community who would like to make a difference: after all, you are the future of North Uist! There’s even a position on the Board especially for someone aged 18-25 to represent the young people in the community.
The Gathering will start at 6pm, followed by Connie’s talk at 7pm. Follow the Zoom link here or dial in using: +44 330 088 5830 or +44 131 460 1196. Meeting ID: 844 2666 1782; Passcode: 537307.
Annual General Meeting at 6pm
1. Welcome and introductions
2. Approval of Minute of 2020 AGM, Annual Report and approval of Accounts for Year ending 31 March 2020. Appointment of Accountants.
3. Your chance to shape the future of North Uist - appointment of Directors.
4. Views of Members and plans for the coming year
5. Date of first meeting of New Board of Directors
Guest Speaker at 7pm
Ensuring a safe and resilient future:
adapting to climate change in the Uists.
Connie Dawson, NatureScot
Connie Dawson works for NatureScot leading on a climate change adaptation plan for the Outer Hebrides, along with the Outer Hebrides Community Planning Partnership and Sniffer. Her role involves coordinating with local government, organisations and communities to investigate and plan for the unique climate-related impacts the islands face. She’s passionate about raising the profile of existing local climate knowledge, action and resilience, of which the Outer Hebrides have a strong history.
Before moving to Lewis in 2021, Connie worked as Sustainability Coordinator for the University of St Andrews, where she completed a BSc (Hons) in Sustainable Development. She is also a Climate Reality Leader, trained by Al Gore, and was previously recognised as one of Scottish Wildlife Trust’s 12 Young Leaders for conservation. Connie’s personal motivation for climate action is in social equity, having a particular interest in ensuring disabled and vulnerable people’s rights within climate policy. She currently works from home in Stornoway with her two tiny dogs.
Connie’s presentation will talk about climate change trends, projections and impacts in the Outer Hebrides; what is involved in climate change adaptation; provide an overview of the adaptation plan she is working on, and next steps for the project, including how to get involved in the project and an opportunity for Members.
March 26 2021 marks the start of a new future for the North Uist Development Company (NUDC), as the organisation finally receives the keys of the former Lochmaddy Primary School on behalf of the community.
Lochmaddy Primary School was closed in 2016 along with Carinish and Paible, as pupils moved to a new single school site at Sgoil Uibhist a’ Tuath; following a council report in 2013. The School building on the edge of Lochmaddy village, was constructed in the 1970s, but the original building dates back to the late 19th Century, so it holds plenty of memories for generations of the North Uist community. Scottish Land Fund Stage 2 funding enabled the asset transfer.
Pam MacPherson, Director, North Uist Development Company, said: "It is so exciting, finally, to reach this stage and to have the keys in our hands. I can’t believe it is actually happening”.
“Over the last year NUDC have managed to get funding for the asset transfer, for an external COVID-19 resilient toilet block and for the Environment Centre exhibition”
We are working closely with the architect and the project managers to get the Community Hub and Environment Centre up and running as soon as possible”
The development plans for Phase 1 and 2 of the project include the Community Hub and, an Environment Centre which will be a new innovative facility showcasing the unique natural environment of the Uists: nurturing sustainable practices. The Community Hub enterprise will bring land and the building back into community use, while focussing on widespread community needs and benefits. It intends to provide a welcoming gathering place for the community and visitors, and an ‘incubator’ for learning and enterprise. Accommodation for visitors, students and temporary workers will be added in later phases of the project.
The top priority for NUDC is to reopen the former school building so the North Uist community can start using it once again. Rentable space will be made available, and there are already interested parties. The development will be undertaken in phases and will involve the community every step of the way. Further funding is currently being sought for Phases 1 and 2: including for renewable energy for heating and electricity to support the environmental ethos of the development and Scotland’s green recovery.
A further update on the Lochmaddy School project will be provided at the forthcoming NUDC Annual General Meeting, to be held online on 17 April. All members welcome!
NUDC is a community company and charity, established in 2010 to develop a sustainable and viable community by promoting the social, educational, cultural, economic and environmental wellbeing of North Uist. The company has been developed by its Members and is managed by a Board of voluntary directors.
NUDC’s work is guided by the North Uist Community Development Plan 2018-2023. In view of recent successes including the now operational UistWind project and now ownership of the former Lochmaddy School, this plan needs to be updated, to ensure it meets the needs of the North Uist community. As it enters this exciting new phase, to shape its future vision, NUDC would be delighted to welcome fresh faces on to its Board of Directors to contribute to that vision.
Andrew Ross, Director, North Uist Development Company said: “We are especially keen to hear from younger people in the community who would like to make a difference: after all, they will be the future of North Uist! “
Are you passionate about North Uist? Do you get excited about what we can all achieve when we work together? Would you like to help shape the future of North Uist for the benefit of the community? If so, we look forward to hearing from you.”
NUDC will also be starting some community engagement associated with the Environment Centre exhibition shortly, and the NUDC team are working tirelessly to move this forward as soon as possible.
NUDC gratefully acknowledges the support of Highlands and Islands Enterprise through their HIE Community-Led Tourism Infrastructure Fund and Delivery Resource Officer fund; the Scottish Land Fund and the Islands Green Recovery Programme.
More details can be found at www.isleofnorthuist.com.
You can now apply up until the 25th of January 2021 for NUDC's 3 month vacancy for a project manager for the Àrainneachd Àlainn’ Lochmaddy Community Hub and Environment Centre.
The Project Manager will deliver the next steps in the project which includes; but is not limited to; the construction of the Environment Centre, and to establish the sustainable business model.
For further details, download the job description here.
Applicants should submit their CV and a covering letter by the closing date of the 25th of January 2020 at noon to email@example.com
NUDC are pleased to announce a 3 month vacancy for a project manager for the Àrainneachd Àlainn’ Lochmaddy Community Hub and Environment Centre.
Funding has been acquired for particular aspects of the development for Phase 1 and Phase 2. The Project Manager will deliver the next steps in the project which includes; but is not limited to; the construction of the Environment Centre, and to establish the sustainable business model.
For further details, download the job description here or visit HIjobs here.
Applicants should submit their CV and a covering letter by the closing date of the 21st of January 2020 at noon to firstname.lastname@example.org
North Uist Development Company was declared winner of the Best Engagement Award for the UistWind project at the Scottish Green Energy Awards 2020 evening virtual event on November 26.
UistWind was shortlisted as a finalist in two categories: Best Community Project Award and Best Engagement Award; announced by Scottish Renewables in October after considering over 100 entries. More than 800 tuned in to the awards to recognise achievements from the renewables industry, with 12 judges to decide which finalists would receive 13 prestigious awards.
Locogen director and project manager, Stuart Hamilton said: “Wow! What a great way to end such a difficult year. Community energy is at the very heart of what we do at Locogen. In UistWind we found a project team and community who share our passion. This award provides well-deserved recognition to all those involved, who repeatedly overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles to deliver a successful project that will benefit the community for many years to come.”
UistWind is a 1.8MW community owned wind farm in North Uist. The project was conceived as far back as 2010 but needed to overcome considerable financing, development, and construction hurdles before finally being commissioned in September 2019. Operational hurdles followed, including this year’s COVID-19 pandemic.
Ameena Camps, Project Delivery Manager at NUDC accepted the award on behalf the Company “Wow, thank you so much! It is an honour to accept this award on behalf of UistWind. This award is for the Members, the lenders Triodos and EIF, and for the community of North Uist who made this project possible.
“We have worked hard to actively engage and communicate as widely as possible right through to the most recent challenges, so the wider community feel part of the team. It was apt to have the local school children cut the ceremonial ribbon marking the opening of the site last year, representing the future generations of North Uist who will benefit from the project. Personally, I would like to thank my Mom, Susan Camps, who gave me the strength, determination and problem solving ability to tackle obstacles and passed away earlier this year.
“To all who have supported the project over the many very challenging years, and to Locogen for nominating us – we did it!”
UistWind was praised at the award ceremony for its engagement and communication during the many years of challenges; and, particularly for the North Uist Development Company’s (NUDC’s) work to spread the message of lessons learnt across the world to empower other communities whilst helping to avoid similar challenges in the future.
Andrew Ross, Director said “North Uist Development Company is delighted to win this Award. We would like to take the opportunity to thank the North Uist community for their continuing support for Uist Wind, as well as all the various stakeholders and in particular all those who invested in the project via our community share offer, which made the project possible.
“Getting the necessary permissions, raising the finance and getting our two turbines erected have all presented enormous challenges to our small community group. The fact that we managed to overcome all these challenges and that our project is now up and running – and generating above budget – is testament to all the support we have enjoyed from the community, our investors and key stakeholders.
“It is particularly rewarding that we are now able to pass on some of what we have learned to other groups trying to get renewable energy projects off the ground. There are many obstacles in the way of developing these projects nowadays, but if we can help groups navigate through these to increase the likelihood of success for other clean green energy projects across Scotland, that is great!”
North Uist Development Company is advising community groups and individuals to be on their guard against scams targeting bank accounts.
NUDC and NUDC (Trading) Ltd have recently been the victim of a sophisticated telephone-based scam, which unfortunately resulted in the loss of some money. This is now the subject of an ongoing investigation by the police and the bank, and the Companies are hopeful of recovering the funds.
The accounts targeted were unconnected with investments made in the wind turbine project or income generated by the turbines. These funds are held at a separate bank and were unaffected.
The police have advised that the islands are currently being targeted by fraudsters using new and sophisticated techniques to defraud individuals, community groups and charities. So everyone should be vigilant.
UistWind have been shortlisted as a finalist in this year’s Scottish Green Energy Awards; shortly after celebrating success of achieving a significant milestone in September: generating enough electricity to power every single home on the island of North Uist.
Scottish Renewables made the official announcement on Monday, October 5th, after considering more than 100 entries. This year’s Scottish Green Energy Awards will see 44 individuals, companies and projects as finalists for awards in 12 categories at a virtual ceremony on November 26.
Speaking for Locogen, project managers for the wind farm development, Director Stuart Hamilton, said: “We’re really proud of our work with UistWind. This project is a fantastic example of the value of community renewable energy, delivering significant social and financial benefits to the island. As we look to a green recovery from the current crisis, UistWind demonstrates how even remote communities can drive change and showcases the democratization of our energy system.”
UistWind is a 1.8MW community owned wind farm in North Uist. The project was conceived as far back as 2010 but needed to overcome considerable financing, development and construction hurdles before finally being commissioned in September 2019. Less than one year after commissioning, the wind turbines have generated over 6,129,000 kWh of electricity – enough to offset power used by all homes on the island.
The UistWind project has been shortlisted as a finalist for the Best Community Project Award and the Best Engagement Award.
The Award ceremony was originally planned as a hybrid event, with guests at Edinburgh's EICC and an audience streaming virtually; but with the current rising cases in COVID-19 the entire event will now be held online, and for the first time will be free to attend.
Chris Morris, Local Energy Scotland Manager said “Congratulations to Ameena Camps and the team for getting shortlisted for a Green Energy Award. It’s fitting that the hard work of NUDC and the North Uist community is being recognised.
It’s more important than ever to celebrate good news and successes during these difficult times”.
The community owned ‘UistWind’ wind farm on North Uist achieved a significant milestone in September as it generated enough electricity to power every single home on the island of North Uist.
The two Enercon 900kW E44 wind turbines at Criongrabhal near Clachan-na-Luib generated 6,129,000 kWh of electricity between commissioning on 13th September 2019 and 8th September this year – just beating the annual consumption figure by 5 days.
This remarkable feat is just the latest accomplishment for a project that has overcome significant challenges on its way to becoming a success story that is an inspiration to other rural and island community energy projects.
The UistWind project was conceived as far back as 2010 but needed to overcome considerable financing and development hurdles before finally being commissioned in September 2019. A major part of this success was a community share offer, which raised £453,850 from more than 220 investors, allowing the project to proceed and providing a great example of community empowerment.
Now, the island community can benefit from green electricity which offsets enough to power all of its homes. Income from the electricity generated, meanwhile, will be invested in local community projects, creating opportunities to help combat depopulation.
Speaking for Locogen, project managers for the wind farm development, director Stuart Hamilton said: “After all the challenges of developing and constructing this project, it’s fantastic to see the first year of generation data and that important milestone being exceeded. We can now see the positive impact UistWind will have on the community for many years to come.”
Ameena Camps, project delivery manager at North Uist Development Company said: “This is an exciting major achievement for UistWind, for the community of North Uist and for the UK in helping to meet renewable energy targets; highlighting tenacity truly can reap many rewards. Thanks to the lenders: Triodos Bank UK and the Energy Investment Fund, Members of UistWind and everyone who has supported the project over the years of development, construction and now, operation”
This milestone is only the beginning for North Uist. UistWind project aims to create over £2million for the community over a projected 22 years, with profits going straight back to the community via North Uist Development Company’s charitable activities.
Mustapha Hocine, Chair of the North Uist Development Company (Trading) Ltd said “I am delighted that we have reached this key stage. The prospect is bright for UistWind and there is excitement amongst all involved about the benefits that will be able to be delivered to the community in the future”
Funding Success Secures North Uist School Asset Transfer
North Uist Development Company (NUDC) have successfully acquired Scottish Land Fund funding to purchase the former Lochmaddy Primary School from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, and complete the asset transfer for the benefit of the community.
Lochmaddy Primary School was closed in 2016 along with Carinish and Paible, with pupils moved to a new single school site at Sgoil Uibhist a’ Tuath; following a council report in 2013. The School as it stands, at the edge of Lochmaddy village, was constructed in the 1970s, but the original building dates back to the late 19th Century; creating memories for generations of the North Uist community.
Catherine Macleod, Director, North Uist Development Company, said: "This is fantastic news for North Uist. This award will mean we can now move forward with the plans to re-open and sustainably develop the School for the benefit of the community”.
“The Community Hub will provide a multi-purpose focus for community and visitors alike: acting as a welcoming gathering place, an incubator for learning and enterprise and, an inspirational environmental centre to educate and conserve the unique local environment for generations into the future: - creating many new memories for North Uist”
Following years of community consultation, a feasibility study in 2018, and various planning reports including the architects’ concept designs; the Scottish Land Fund success of £19,779 marks a major milestone; being selected as one of six community projects across the Highlands and Islands to be awarded funding from the latest funding round. The development plans for Phase 1 of the project includes the Community Hub and, an Environment Centre which will be a new innovative facility showcasing the unique natural environment of the Uists: nurturing sustainable practices. A living environment with accommodation for visitors, students and temporary workers will be added in later phases of the project. This Community Hub enterprise will bring land and a building back into community use whilst focussing on widespread community needs and benefits.
Taken from the official Scottish Land Fund press release:
Minister, Cabinet Secretary for Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham said: “Communities across the country are playing a pivotal role in helping create a fairer and greener Scotland as we respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The latest round of Scottish Land Fund grants – provided to 21 different community groups – will go towards projects that will provide locals with better access to green space, encourage wildlife and support community businesses.
“With this funding being awarded during Climate Week, I look forward to these projects seizing the opportunity to help our green recovery.”
John Watt, Scottish Land Fund Committee Chair said: "Groups from all across Scotland are making a real impact to their communities with a wide range of ambitious projects that deliver tangible benefits to the people who live there, and the Scottish Land Fund is delighted to be able to support them.”
The next steps for the Development Company are to complete the asset transfer, and open the former School so the North Uist community can start using it once again. Rentable space will be made available. The development will be undertaken in phases; and further funding is currently being sought for Phases 1 and 2: including for renewable energy for heating and electricity to support the environmental ethos of the development and Scotland’s green recovery.
More details can be found at www.isleofnorthuist.com and for those interested in renting a space within the School please contact the Company here.
Scottish Land Fund press release can be found at https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/news/press-releases/2020-09-17/community-groups-across-scotland-receive-1-6m-backing-from-the-scottish-land-fund
Empowering Islands To Achieve Their Energy And Climate Targets for Scotland and Ireland
NUDC presented key lessons from the Uist Wind project at the EU Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy webinar on the 19th of June; helping to empower islands and drive the renewable energy transition.
The road to becoming a fossil fuel-free and climate-ready island is not always smooth and easy and there are many obstacles in the way, particularly when island communities are directly involved in setting up renewable energy systems as in Scotland and Ireland. The webinar presented successful climate and energy solutions and methodologies in the Scottish and Irish islands, starting with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar – the Western Isles Council, one of the earliest PoI signatories and approaches pioneered in Ireland and Orkney; continuing with community projects on smaller islands and the lessons learnt. The webinar also considered the right conditions required for investing in local energy and climate action plans, inviting the convener of the Scottish Low Carbon Investment Roundtable to sum up the last 2 years roundtable conclusions, whilst NESOI – the European Clean Energy for EU Islands Facility presented how their approach will support the islands.
The presentation was well received, and NUDC hope the many challenges faced during the development and delivery of the Uist Wind project can help others avoid similar situations and empower groups to overcome obstacles.
For more details visit:
NUDC aims to communicate project milestones and successes as widely as possible, and this news feed highlights key articles.