Absolutely wonderful news for Westray! Having purchased Bayview from Orkney Islands Council in 2019, Westray Development Trust has secured funding through the Scottish Government Islands Housing Fund that will enable it to convert the property into four flats for affordable rent.
You can read the press release below and follow progress on the Westray Development Trust Facebook page.
Westray Affordable Housing Project – Bayview
Westray Development Trust’s successful application to the Islands Housing Fund will see
the Scottish Government fund awarding a grant of £380,000 towards the charity’s affordable housing project. In 2019 with funding support from the Scottish Land Fund, Westray Development Trust purchased Bayview from Orkney Islands Council with the intention to convert the property into four flats. These flats will be available for affordable rent. The renovation work will bring the empty former Harbour Master’s house back into use as well as diversify and increase the housing available on the island. The renovation work will be undertaken by local contractors bringing work to the community.
Andrew Seatter – Chair of Westray Development Trust said: “On behalf of the Westray Development Trust, I would like to say a huge thank you to the Rural and Islands Housing Fund for supporting this much needed project in our community. The Bayview housing project will offer new homes for people to rent, at an affordable rate, and therefore hopefully retain locals in the Isle, and give folk from outside the community an option to move here for work. Without funding of this scale from the Rural and Islands Housing Fund, this project simply would not have been viable, and for that, we are incredibly grateful.”
Councillor Gwenda Shearer – Chair of the Education, Leisure and Housing Committee, Orkney Islands Council said: “The council was delighted to support and assist the Westray Development Trust on this project and it’s great news they have been awarded the funding to complete the project that will be really beneficial to the local community.”
Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said: “This ambitious project shows what a community can achieve when empowered to take local decisions. Supported by £380,000 from the Scottish Government’s Islands Housing Fund, these new homes will grow and sustain the community as well as providing safe, warm and affordable places to live. “We recognise that good quality, affordable housing is essential to help attract and retain people in Scotland’s rural and island communities. This parliamentary term, we have committed over £3.5 billion to deliver our target of 50,000 affordable homes, including 35,000 for social rent.”
About Westray Development Trust
Westray Development Trust is a community-led charity based on the island of Westray,
Orkney. For over 20 years the Trust has supported the Westray community through its
mission “to develop the economic, social and cultural sustainability of our community by
harnessing the quality of our resources, people and island environment”. Supporting an
island community of approximately 600 people, the Trust runs various community-based
projects and several grant schemes. As well as the Bayview Housing project this includes
the Höfn Youth Centre, Westray Bargain Box and the Westray Community Garden project.
To learn more about Westray Development Trust and the Bayview project please contact
Westray Development Trust Operations Manager Isobel Thompson.