Six families moved into this award-winning affordable housing, health and business development in February 2022.
It was the first affordable housing development in Staffin for 23 years, and also saw the community's old health clinic - the Nurse's Cottage in Clachan - replaced by a new health centre and provide much needed business premises.
It was the biggest capital project SCT is involved in to date, at a cost of £1.6million with significant Scottish Government support. It was also the first time SCT has purchased land and the very first housing development on a common grazings in Staffin. It was a peaty, agriculturally poor piece of ground and SCT was keen to avoid the loss of better quality in-bye croft land in the district.
The Staffin community has suffered population decline in the last two decades, with a drastic shortage of accommodation for younger people and families and an over heated property market, which is out of reach for them. SCT is hopeful the new housing will help increase and support Bun Sgoil Stafainn’s pupil roll and ensure the community’s long-term sustainability.
The site was sold by the Stenscholl crofting township and Scottish Ministers to SCT in 2020. SCT worked in partnership with the Communities Housing Trust (CHT) and Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association (LSHA). Each organisation built two houses each. Around 12 adults and eight children have moved into the new homes. Staffin’s population had reduced by 40 people (6.6 per cent) from 610 residents to 568 people in just four years, prior to SCT starting the project feasibility back in 2014.
NHS Highland became the long-term tenants of the new health centre on May 9 while the local aquaculture company Organic Sea Harvest took over the lease of the two business units in the development on November 1.
The development won four awards in 2022. Taighean a Chasieil was the winner in the housing and regeneration category at the The Scottish Government-backed SURF Awards. Taighean a’ Chaiseil has won three other awards. They include: the excellence in regeneration and sustainability category at the Scotland Housing Awards; the community contribution category at the Scottish Home Awards 2022 and the Highlands and Islands Architectural Awards, where it was judged Best Project Overall.
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SCT and its partners worked on developing the project since 2014.
The Highland Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) had funded a housing needs report, which identified a clear demand locally for new homes.
The project has involved dozens of meetings, a considerable amount of research including valuable visits to other West Highland communities, funding applications, lobbying and consultation events. You can see the community and political support from a short film made for our Crowdfunding campaign, see below. This video was produced by Hugh Campbell Marketing and helped SCT raise more than £7,000 for the project. See our crowdfunder film here
The main funders were :
- Scottish Land Fund
- Rural Housing Fund
- Ecology Building Society
- Highlands and Islands Enterprise
- SSE Sustainable Development Fund
- Quaker Housing Trust
- Crowdfunder and donation from Gaelic singer Alasdair Gillies