Island of Hoy Development Trust: Who we are and our Development

Island of Hoy Development Trust
Who we are and our Development Plan
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.
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
 Affordable housing (not just rented) meeting local needs
 Sensitive restoration of ruins
 Permanent
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
Care for elderly and infirm
·Natural environment preserved, tidied and enhanced
Sustainable Development
For both locals and visitors
From this, the Development Group suggested that the plan for the island's future
should follow the following themes:
Transport /infrastructure
Education and learning
Elderly and care
Youth and children
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
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
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
 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
 Researching potential housing solutions (e.g. self build, housing association
 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
 Liaise with Orkney Housing Association and OIC regarding the construction of
new affordable homes.
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
 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.
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
 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
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
 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
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.
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
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
 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
 joint school and community music tuition.
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
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.
 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.
 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
 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
 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.
 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.
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.
 IHDT have built a community website which offers an overview of the services
and attractions available on Hoy.
 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.
 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
 Explore the possibility of 'Gateway Housing and workspace' for the island with
 Boat repair work shop Lyness (start small, build up).
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
 Plan and implement a programme of environmental improvements
 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
 Investigate the potential for further opportunities to promote existing
education and training facilities
 Welcome pack
 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.