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THE SCOTTISH ISLANDS FEDERATION, WHO WE ARE:
It all started with an island network
The Scottish Islands Federation started as a network in 2000 which aimed to bring together people living on Scottish Islands, share information and good practice. It was funded by island councils and councils with islands and employed one project worker.
Today, we are a federation
In 2007, the network became an independent federation representing island development trusts, island community councils and island-based community benefit organisations. (See below how it came about)
The federation is a company limited by guarantee with a board of voluntary directors, Company number SC345492 and Registered office, Isle of Eigg, PH42 4RL.
Our current islands membership
- Arran Community Council
- Coll Community Council
- Cumbrae Community Initiative Company
- Fetlar Development Ltd
- Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust
- Isle of Luing Community Trust
- Gigha Heritage Trust
- Lismore Community Company
- Mull and Iona Community Trust
- Small Isles Community Council
- Stromness Community Development trust
- Tiree Community Development Trust
- Towards Zero Carbon Bute
Like to join Scottish Islands Federation? Join HERE.
Getting together with other island organisations in the EU
As soon as it was set up, the Scottish Islands Network became a member of ESIN, the European Small Isles Network, which also became a federation a few years later. It then became involved in ESIN’s 3 year inter- island European exchange project, funded by the INTERREG 111C programme.
Many Scottish Islanders and island organisations participated in this exchange which looked at a wide variety of themes pertinent to island life, enabling islanders from 6 European countries to share their experiences of sustainable development. The exchange programme ended with Argyll and Bute Council hosting a final conference in Islay in November 2006. The INTERREG exchange results were then disseminated to help influence national and EU policies in favour of small islands. ESIN continues to work hard to ensure the smaller islands challenges are better understood in Brussels.
Becoming a federation
The decision to change from network to federation was taken by the Scottish Islands Network steering group at the Islay conference in 2006, as a need was identified for the network to develop on a par with European island organisations in ESIN. The group presented its conclusions at an inaugural conference in Mull in November 2007: “a Voice for the Islands”.
The advantage of the federation model over the network was that it was completely independent from council influence, enabling islanders to truly have a voice. Council representatives are invited to be part of the board but have no voting rights. Today, the federation works alongside councils, and is represented at Community Partnership meetings or LEADER fora, but its primary aim is to help empower island communities.
Current directors are:
- Camille Dressler, chair, represents the Small Isles Community Council (the islands of Eigg, Rum, Muck and Canna) and is also the ESIN vice-chair. Her interests are community empowerment and community energy, as well as heritage and the arts. A Gaelic learner, she has established a crofting Museum and bilingual crofting trail on the isle of Eigg and is chair of Feis Eige.
- Sandy Brunton, represents the Mull and Iona Community Trust. Sandy also serves as chair of Development Trust Association Scotland and is on the interim board of the Rural Parliament. Based in Fionnphort on the isle of Mull, he also plays the drums in the local pipe band and is in the local Coastguard team.
- Alaistair Fleming, representing the Luing Community Trust, is very much involved as treasurer of the LCT in the building of the Atlantic Islands Centre on Luing. He has a great interest in geology and natural history.
- Frank Corcoran is the federation’s treasurer and represents the Cumbrae Community Initiative Company, which is currently looking at acquiring woodland on the island and has established a successful community garden with Big Lottery funding. Frank also chairs the Cumbrae Tourism group.
- Ann MacDonald had just been co-opted on the SIF board. Ann is on the board of the Tiree Community Trust and of TREL, its renewable energy subsidiary company.
The Scottish islands Federation is currently looking for more directors as well as a secretary. The latter role is presently carried out by the chair.