Stratherrick and Foyers Community Trust purchases key village site at Whitebridge.

The Community Trust which serves most of the South side of Loch Ness has announced the acquisition of more valuable property which now brings four sites into the local community trust’s control.   

Peter Faye, Chair of Stratherrick and Foyers Community Trust confirmed that the former Outdoor Centre at Wildside, had been purchased by the Trust from its current private owners ending years of uncertainty over a key site in the village of Whitebridge. 

Peter said ‘Community ownership guarantees the site will be used to benefit local people.  There are precious few opportunities like this and the Trust is delighted with the purchase.’  The Outdoor Centre and the two-acre site has been mothballed for many years and private developers had proposed it be demolished to make way for five large houses on the site.  Planning consent for the executive homes had lapsed so the Community Trust decided to make their move.

Peter Faye, who is in his second term as Chair of the local Trust added ‘Energy firm SSE confirmed recently that the Trust will receive additional community benefit funds.  These come from the Stronelairg windfarm which is located entirely within the Stratherrick and Foyers boundary.  Our Trust board felt confident in buying the former Wildside Outdoor Centre outright.  We can now consult our residents on how the building and surrounding area might be best used.  Options include refurbishing the building which is in remarkably sound condition and developing the remainder of the site in a way that supports our community here. Ideas include housing, units for the use of self-employed people, a community timber yard and a recreation pitch.  The site is big enough that even a micro-brewery could be considered.   This community needs facilities and employment opportunities. The last thing we needed on this site was five new executive houses!’

Stratherrick and Foyers Community Trust also owns a field earmarked for recreational facilities at Lower Foyers.  Development plans are currently being drawn up by the Trust’s architect.  Stratherrick and Foyers Community Trust also leases a large neglected area of former commercial land on Loch Ness-side from SSE which the Trust plans to regenerate.  The fourth property in the Trust’s portfolio is the Industrial Units at Foyers.  These two units have now been refurbished and brought back into use as a centre for local care organisation Boleskine Community Care.  The Trust provides the premises at a nominal rent. 

Peter concluded ‘The Wildside Centre site is unique.  It is close to the famous Wade Bridge at Whitebridge and has direct access to the B852 public road.  It is on our bus route and handy for the Whitebridge Hotel.  Purchasing this land is a big step for the Stratherrick and Foyers Community Trust.  Local people now have an opportunity to use the land and building to support their own community – for ever.’