17 Manse Road Kinlochbervie
Work has progressed throughout the autumn and into the winter on 17 Manse Road. Wiring done, new kitchen cupboards, wall repairs, new boiler ready to install, new bathroom fixtures arriving soon, interior painting almost complete………
The Highland Small Communities Housing Trust will be managing the house on our behalf and are now accepting applications to rent the house. Contact person is Helen Mackie 01463 233549.
Click the link below to view or download the poster.
The lease was signed on 21 June 2016 and work began. Enough of the garden was cleared to enable access to the house and the kitchen was stripped (it had been extensively damaged by a leaking pipe). The next step is complete rewiring.
Along with 32 other community groups, we made a “pitch” for a grant at Highland Council’s Stronger Sutherland event held at the Lairg Community Centre on 21 May 2016. Community groups could apply for up to £2,000 for a project. The total budget available was £15,000. Votes were cast by those attendance (50 people) as to which projects should receive funding. We were one of the 9 selected. The other West Coast winner was the refurbishment of Scourie Village Hall).
More information about the event as well as a list of the 9 successful projects can be found at:
The award from the Stronger Sutherland initiative brings our fundraising total for 17 Manse Road to £22,000. Our estimated budget is £28,000. Although we are still a little short of our target, work will begin as soon as we have signed the lease for the house.
We have been award £3,250 from the Ward Discretionary Fund and £1,750 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise. This gives us a confirmed budget of £20,000. The total cost is estimated to be £28,000. However, we will go ahead and carry out the most urgent work. The lease will be signed in May and work should begin shortly after.
We have been granted £15,000 through Highland Council’s Empty Properties Fund for the repair and renovation of 17 Manse Road. This fund uses monies from the Scottish Government and various private sector granting bodies. The search is now on to secure the funds need to complete the project (approximately £13,000).
Update: We are now in the final stages of signing a long-term lease for 17 Manse Road (20 years). We are also in the process of applying for funding for essential repairs. We intend to bring the house up to a habitable state and to make it available for rent as family accommodation. The Highland Small Communities Housing Trust have drawn up a draft proposal for managing the property on our behalf. Any revenue from rental of the property would help support other initiatives of the Community Company such as acquiring the house next door at 18 Manse Road which became vacant in September.
As requested by The Highlands Small Communities Trust, the Kinlochbervie Community Company obtained quotes for work needed and prepared a business plan. These have been submitted to the Trust and a site visit has taken place.
When members of the Community Company visited the house, it was found to have an leak that was causing damage within the house. Volunteers from the Company repaired the leak as this work could not wait.
Highland Council agreed to transfer ownership of the house to the Kinlochbervie Community Company. The Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust expressed a willingness to be involved in the improvement of the house and its long term management.
The Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust carried a survey of housing need in Kinlochbervie. While the overall demand for housing within the village was not felt to be huge, the report found that there was demand from incoming workers, local young people who wanted to remain in the area and older people who needed smaller accommodation. The study showed that there was very strong support within the community for providing housing for local families with children and for people who work locally. The study concluded that making 1-2 affordable houses available would have a positive impact on the community.
A representative from The Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust attended a Community Council meeting and discussed how the Trust could become involved.
The Community Council asked the local Highland Councillor to investigate why 17 Manse Road has been boarded up so long and to enquire as to how it could be made usable once again.
Numbers 17 and 18 Manse Road are a pair of semi-detached houses built around 1970 and owned by Highland Council. They are known locally as the “school houses” and were available for teachers to rent. When the last tenant left Number 17 many years ago, the house was boarded up and remains so to this day. The building interior has deteriorated significantly but is not beyond repair.