Island of Hoy Development Trust Who we are and our Development Plan Background Hoy is a beautiful and diverse island with many strengths and opportunities but it was agreed in April 2004 that it faced a number of problems which, unless they were addressed, could lead to a serious decline in the unique quality of life on the island. On some of the other islands, Development Trusts had attracted investment to help build a positive future for the smaller and more fragile Orkney communities. This was considered as the way forward for our community and a group was formed to pursue this. In 2005, a Steering Group was elected to consider ideas for island development, working with independent consultant, Alan Caldwell to develop a plan for the island. Some of the ideas were developed at a community meeting and then sent to all households, outlining the ideas raised. After due consideration and comment from the community, a formal plan was created in 2006, which focused on specific projects for further research, development and funding investigation. The Island of Hoy Development Trust was formed in 2007. Principles In 2005, the Development Group agreed the following principles should guide the Development Plan; · Partnership working with local groups, our local agencies and national partners in the public, private and charitable sectors · Keeping the £ local/on island · Environmentally friendly · Eco awareness · Sustainable not a quick fix · Community focused · Promote & sustain local business and activities · Promote grass roots community involvement Hoy 2025 The Development Group began to look at what their vision for the island was for twenty years time. They stared with the following objectives; A Viable And Vibrant Community 500 people Good mix (families and economically active) Housing and work to sustain the population Housing Affordable housing (not just rented) meeting local needs Sensitive restoration of ruins Permanent inhabitants not a holiday Green & Productive Development based on eco-awareness Blend innovative and traditional ideas An energy efficient island economy promoting renewables Improved Services Improved recreational facilities (and access to mainland facilities) An integrated system of transport Good local shops and produce Playground Care for elderly and infirm Environment ·Natural environment preserved, tidied and enhanced Sustainable Development · For both locals and visitors island Themes From this, the Development Group suggested that the plan for the island's future should follow the following themes: Renewables Housing Transport /infrastructure Tourism Employment Education and learning Elderly and care Youth and children Recreation PRIORITIES While the long-term plan needed to include the full range of themes the Development Group felt that they should concentrate their efforts on three priority areas for the first year. Sub Groups were established to explore the following priorities: Renewables Renewables offer island communities excellent project opportunities. From recycling to wind turbines, hydrogen energy sources and bio-digesters - many of Orkney's islands were progressing projects. In addition to these opportunities, Hoy had the potential of the presence of Ocean Power Delivery and the interest of other renewables companies in development land at Lyness. The overall objective was to inform the community and establish supportive partnership with companies. Renewable energy and recyclingoffered island communities excellent project opportunities. Action points included; Undertake feasibility study to explore the possibilities for renewable energy projects across the island (community owned, householder and local business opportunities) including energy efficiency audit Research alternative energy generation as a source of power for the island and perhaps as additional income Invite Colin Risbridger working on Westray to meet the group to discuss renewables and generate potential project ideas for the group/island Make contact with Ocean Power Delivery to open discussions about mutual support and benefits There was no recycling on Hoy, apart from paper and glass at Lyness, but this was not convenient for many. There should be similar facilities at Hoy and Longhope The disposal of large items (cars etc) and feasibility of land fill site Contact OE and OIC to update group on potential of development land at Lyness and who might be interested in developing this site Housing Although it is acknowledged that holiday homes do bring some economic benefit to Hoy, our own young people find it increasingly difficult to afford to buy a home here. We need young families to settle on the island and efforts can be made to help provide good affordable housing. Affordable housing is linked directly to the economic health of the island. Work and homes are required to achieve the vision of a thriving, healthy island. The group concentrated on these areas; Research potential housing solutions (e.g. self build, shared ownership. co- op, grants etc) Explore the possibility of 'Gateway Housing and workspace' for the island with OIC Prepare a questionnaire to establish need and potential of people coming to the island (with connections to existing families/residents) Work with OIC, Housing Assoc and the Hoy Trust Surveying housing need, housing condition, potential development sites/restorations Researching potential housing solutions (e.g. self build, housing association etc) Preparing a questionnaire to establish need and potential of people coming to the island (with connections to existing families/residents) Action points for the group included Find out what work has been done already in this area (contact OIC etc) Think through how to collect information on potential sites and buildings Think through the 'Returner's Questionnaire" idea Identify a person/people to undertake some research into rural housing options (self build etc) Research the possibilities of financial incentives to renovate derelict properties. Liaise with Orkney Housing Association and OIC regarding the construction of new affordable homes. Employment The traditional industries of farming and fishing need support to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century. Despite the restrictions imposed by national legislation local action can help. Tourism has become an important element in our island economy. We can further increase the benefits by actively promoting Hoy as a unique holiday experience. New and sustainable business opportunities can provide employment for local people and attract those considering moving to Hoy. The introduction of broadband would also enhance commercial development. The key to the health and prosperity of the island, the group examined how they could support existing enterprise, generate social enterprises and help create new business opportunities. Various forms of small business have been suggested – a bakery, a garage/blacksmith, an island bus service, a boat yard, alternative horticulture, a small business park at Lyness. Action points were; Contact existing business and arrange a meeting to discuss their needs, requirements and how the group might support them. Prepare an island wide local economic strategy Undertake a skills survey and create an island 'Enterprise Directory Support existing business Explore the idea of holding business generation sessions to encourage people to come forward with business ideas Explore the potential of development land at Lyness and deep water asset Explore the potential of combined housing and workspace units De kirkwallisation of council jobs Agriculture and Fisheries Research the potential for diversification Develop marketing/transportation strategies Tourism Promotion and publicity of Hoy as a longer stay tourist destination Development of tourist attractions and facilities Coordination of service providers The preparation of an island wide tourism strategy Encourage the creation of a wide range of accommodation The creation of a local tourism group to lead the work Establish path network and provide information leaflets. Promote and market the island including a 'Hoy Branding'. Restoration, interpretation and promotion of the wartime sites Promotion of arts and crafts enterprises Information boards at Stromness and Houton Industry And Commerce Research and develop opportunities for outwork from OIC an other sources outwith Orkney Research the potential of Lyness as an area for business development Support the introduction of broadband Investigate and develop the potential for small businesses Other sub groups were formed setting out their aims and objectives for the future. TRANSPORT Good transport links are essential both for islanders and visitors to Hoy. The group were to focus on achieving fully integrated links with external transport services, with timetables which would enable us, and visitors to the island, to access sea and air transport out of Orkney on a convenient and regular basis. The aims of the group were; There may well be potential to enhance the existing ferry links. Research and develop ferry timetables more suited to the needs of the island · Update information collection on the use and potential of our ferry links · Liaise and lobby over both the capacity and timetabling of ferry services · Explore the development of the pier at Hoy to increase ferry capacity · Undertake road condition survey and options for new road building POPULATION Young People And Children We value our youngsters and want to involve them in as many opportunities for socialising and developing their skills as possible and see them playing a leading role in the future of our island. Better facilities and a sense of working together to achieve goals can help develop their self esteem and pride in their community. The aims of the group were; Encourage work experience, local apprenticeship schemes and training opportunities (for trades in particular) Research and establish a training programme tailored to our young people Encourage local events to promote career and business opportunities Youth involvement in development plan and organisation Promote facilities and job opportunities around community nursery, creche and child minding. To make links with other youth groups using the Hoy Outdoor Centre for joint activities and with mainland groups. To provide outdoor activities – camping, orienteering, trails, family events. To promote links with youth club, school and theatre. To plan and build an environmental area for the whole community. To produce a ‘skills register’ of who to contact on the island re. traditional skills, design, small business, etc. To ensure that young people were fully consulted at every stage. Develop a drop in centre for young people Older People As a quarter of our residents are over 60; we can continue to ensure their needs are met by maintaining the existing facilities and developing new ones. Caring for our elderly is crucial to our strong sense of community. The aims of the group were; Explore the potential for local employment through meeting care needs Undertake a feasibility study into a sheltered housing/residential care on the island Increase the number of home helps on the island Explore the needs of those who care for others on the island Maintain and develop new and existing facilities and activities for older people Aim to achieve sheltered housing, the cluster development or a care and welfare centre ENVIRONMENT We live in an environment rich in natural beauty. We can remain sensitive to this and still develop the islands potential with new and innovative projects. The aims of the group were; Plan and implement a programme of environmental improvements Identify funds to renovate and promote the use of footpaths An alternative energy site at Lyness, A ‘green’ hostel for environmentally friendly holiday accommodation. ARTS, CULTURE & HERITAGE Hoy has a great store of cultural and historical wealth. We also have a wide range of talented artists and crafts people. We can promote our culture, heritage and creativity to attract visitors and develop employment opportunities. The aims of the group were; An information point at the ferry terminal (to include a part time summer job) an island archive, an island guide book, the development of archaeological works. Promote local arts and crafts Promote existing heritage projects and research and develop new ones Develop arts, culture and heritage trail Develop and promote cultural interest holidays EDUCATION Life long learning opportunities are important for all the community. We already have excellent school resources on which to build. The aims of the group were; The preparation of an island wide strategy for education and learning The promotion and development of the Hoy Centre and the North Walls Centre as educational resources for the island. Improved links with adult education and the promotion of video conferencing facilities Utilizing local skills to run evening classes. Promote existing education and training facilities and investigate the potential for further opportunities Accommodation and activities for a parent & toddlers group, wider access to educational and vocational studies through video conferencing links with evening classes, open learning and off island meetings, joint school and community music tuition. SPORTS & LEISURE We have a strong base of community activities which we can continue to foster and enjoy whilst exploring the possibilities for further development. The aims of the group were; Explore links to arts, culture and heritage projects An island wide feasibility study and audit of existing facilities, opportunities, need and potential Explore the creation of all weather facilities (e.g. a sports hall) Explore business opportunities through outdoor recreation (e.g. walking, surfing, golfing An island sports day, island sports teams, a bowling green, a nine hole golf course, camping/caravan site, music and dance groups/workshops Promote the existing range of sports and leisure activities Explore access to funds to further develop facilities monitor the progress of the Healthy Living Centre Marketing &: Promotion This is a key to our vision for the island. For this we aim to’ The production of a local marketing strategy to promote the unrivalled treasures of our island Improve communication within the island (notice boards, radio, newsletter etc) Where We Are Now IHDT has provided the vehicle to progress economic and social sustainability of Hoy through projects and activities identified by its residents. Renewables The wind energy project has secured lottery funding, own the site for the turbine to be built, have obtained planning permission and a grid connection. Employment of a turbine officer will ensure the islands needs are taken forward within the Orkney group. A recycling sub group was set up and funding applied for a feasibility study. This would include a clean up of the island by disposing of cars etc, and setting up a ‘reuse, recycle’ unit. OIC are carrying work at Lyness with the aim of providing space for renewable industries. A recycling facility and a furniture recycling project is being evaluated. Housing We have consulted with Orkney Island Council, Orkney Housing and Hoy Trust regarding provision of affordable housing A housing needs survey was undertaken Research into possible housing solutions undertaken Questionnaire re housing need sent out Work with OIC, OHAL and Hoy Trust ongoing. We have carried out a domestic property energy survey in order to assess need. Employment A skills survey has been carried out although there is not enough information available for the proposed directory so far. Tourism sub group set up Island publicity has been increased with the production of a tourist brochure and poster Information boards at Lyness and Hoy IHDT, in partnership with SNH, HLF and Hoy and Walls Community Council have employed a South Isles Ranger whose responsibilities include supporting people to enjoy our spectacular scenery, increase awareness and understanding for our natural and cultural heritage and support sustainable management of the countryside. We have supported local businesses and explored several potential business ideas. We have been active in exploring possibilities of the potential of a Container Transhipment hub or other use of the deep water access at Lyness. OIC are now in the early stages in developing marine renewables at Lyness. We have been successful in improving broadband access to the island We have provided two part time and one full time posts from the projects we have undertaken. TRANSPORT A survey into local transport needs has been completed. IHDT have liaised with Orkney Ferries regarding the capacity and timetabling of services. Timetable improved through liaison with Orkney Ferries. POPULATION Young People And Children Our biggest success is the setting up of a Youth Café, attended regularly and enthusiastically by an average of 12 youngsters. 12 months funding has been obtained to employ a part time Youth Development Worker. ARTS, CULTURE & HERITAGE IHDT have built a community website which offers an overview of the services and attractions available on Hoy. EDUCATION We have utilised local skills in providing evening classes, and improved the knowledge of board members, volunteers and residents with specialised training sessions. Parent and toddler group set up The Future Where do we go from here? A postal survey last year identified several areas for development plus suggestions outstanding from earlier surveys which could be followed up cover the following topics. Renewables Recycled Scheme for fuel Oil /Briquettes/ Hydrogen. Implement an affordable warmth scheme/ Fuel / Helping with New Technologies e.g. Solar Power, Ground Source Heat and micro renewables Housing Explore the possibility of 'Gateway Housing and workspace' for the island with OIC Employment Boat repair work shop Lyness (start small, build up). POPULATION Young People And Children Establish a training programme tailored to our young people Older People Small Works team to do jobs at a reasonable cost that folk cannot do i.e. painting (could link to our own affordable warmth scheme). Explore the needs of those who care for others on the island ENVIRONMENT Plan and implement a programme of environmental improvements ARTS, CULTURE & HERITAGE Hoy Heritage Museum (with petting farm/ injured bird/ animal hospital where people and especially children could help out). Craft workshop / Souvenirs (one of these linked with museum). Develop arts, culture and heritage trail EDUCATION Investigate the potential for further opportunities to promote existing education and training facilities Welcome pack SPORTS & LEISURE a nine hole golf course, camping/caravan site, These suggestions need to be supported by the community. This could either be done by post or at an open meeting. Liaison with community groups could also be considered as they may have aspirations of their own. The development plan needs to be achievable as HIE have asked us to identify when projects will be completed.
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