The Urras strives to involve the whole community in its decision-making process through ongoing consultations and communication. The overarching vision is to build a sustainable future for the communities of the Galson Estate.
The development of a Community Renewable Energy Project coupled with income from commercial developments provides the Urras with an income stream. This income will enable the Urras to give back to the community. We try and engage with the community in as many ways as possible, most recently through our strategic plan. Find out more about it below, and other ways we engage with the community.
STRATEGIC PLANNING DOCUMENT / Plana Ro-innleachdail
The Urras spent most of 2016 working towards the creation of a Strategic Plan through a consultation process to look to the future and to allow for the effective distribution of income for the next 20 years.
This consultation process involved a series of group discussions with cross-sections of the community and with a range of interest groups. The findings from these events were fed into a household survey which was made available to all homes on the Estate. In addition, a sample of households across the Estate, covering a mix of ages and location, were interviewed in person to gain a more detailed insight into their survey responses.
The Plan is now available for download as a working document and we greatly appreciate any feedback you may have that will build on this for the future development of our community.
YOUTH ENGAGEMENT / Ag obair le òigridh
The Urras understands the importance of young people in the community and strives to involve and support those living on the estate. The Urras regularly meets with school / youth groups, either visiting the office or turbine site or us going out to the schools themselves, to involve and inform young people about our work within the community. This helps young people gain an understanding of Land Ownership and gives us an insight into what young people in our community want.
The Summer of 2016 saw the start of family Outdoor Sessions, involving bushcraft, river dipping and rockpooling to name a few, to give young people and their parents / guardians the opportunity to engage in new activities and discover the natural environment on their doorstep. This was a great success and we provide a programme of these each year during school holidays.
COMMUNITY ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT / Stiùireadh Coimhearsnachd
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), in partnership with LEADER, committed further funding in 2011 towards the Community Account Management ‘Growth at the Edge’ programme, which provides revenue funding for Local Development Officers in ‘fragile’ areas. There is a network of CAM Officers working throughout the Highlands and Islands, one of them being based at the Urras for the North Lewis area.
The Local Development Officer works with the Urras and the wider community, to support delivery of priority projects identified. Support includes project management, community consultation and business planning as well as supporting the completion of funding applications and reports. The post holder will be expected to ensure groups make best use of the Urras’s Community Investment Programme that was created to support the delivery of community projects.
The Urras is grateful to HIE for funding this post to enable us to work with the community to support and enhance their ideas and projects. Click on the link below to visit the HIE website for more information on Community Account Management.