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SkyeConnect Monthly Newsletter - Virtual Town Hall 17th June and more...

As Skye and surrounding areas, its businesses, residents and the tourism economy navigate a period marked by unprecedented challenges and funding cuts, our unity and collective voice are more crucial than ever. Our “Virtual Town Hall” is for all who have an interest in making a difference and is designed for all members of the local business and tourism community to participate. If you feel you can contribute in any way and want to be part of solving or bringing much needed attention to our most pressing issues, then we very much look forward to welcoming you and working with you.

In this Newsletter

  • SKYECONNECT VIRTUAL TOWN HALL – 17TH JUNE – 18.30-20.30 – ZOOM
  • HIGHLAND COUNCIL PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON HIGHLAND SUSTAINABLE TOURISM STRATEGY
  • MOFFAT CENTRE RESEARCH INTO SUCCESS FACTORS FOR TOURISM IN ISLAND COMMUNITIES
 
  • IMPORTANT SERVICE INFORMATION FROM CALMAC FERRIES 
  • THE SCOTTISH WOMEN’S CONVENTION IS COMING TO ISLE OF SKYE AND KYLE TO HOLD ROADSHOW EVENTS
  • SKYE AND LOCHALSH COUNCIL FOR VOLUNTARY ORGANISATIONS WORKSHOP ON LOCAL ISSUES RELATED TO CHILDCARE
SKYECONNECT VIRTUAL TOWN HALL – 17TH JUNE – 18.30-20.30 – ZOOM

REGISTER FOR THE EVENT HERE

 

As Skye and surrounding areas, its businesses, residents and the tourism economy navigate a period marked by unprecedented challenges and funding cuts, our unity and collective voice are more crucial than ever. This “Virtual Town Hall” is for all who have an interest in making a difference and is designed for all members of the local business and tourism community to participate. If you feel you can contribute in any way and want to be part of solving or bringing much needed attention to our most pressing issues, then we very much look forward to welcoming you and working with you.

 

SkyeConnect is committed to representing and advocating for the needs of local businesses and our community amidst these extremely trying times. In the past we have helped encourage positive change by bringing attention to our shared issues at local, regional, national and international levels.

 

Join us so that your experiences and insights can shape our advocacy efforts and activities over the coming months. This meeting is not just a forum to voice concerns, it is a strategic session to formulate an action plan through local collaboration that aims to address our collective needs and issues. As a collective, we are stronger and with improved collaboration and support, we can forge a path forward together that ensures local voices are heard by government ministers, the media, public agencies and other relevant parties so that Skye’s voice is heard.

 

Current Challenges:

Skye is experiencing a significant influx of visitors, which, while beneficial in terms of the economy, has intensified several already pressing issues:

  • Staffing shortages
  • Infrastructure deficits that strain under increased visitor numbers
  • Environmental impacts due volume of tourism
  • Supply chain issues, leading to high costs and availability problems
  • A deepening housing crisis
  • Economic strain, including the loss of funding for critical services like the Ranger Service, cuts to Destination Management and policies that are adversely affecting island/remote rural communities
  • Proposed visitor levy which will further complicate the economic landscape
  • Windfarms and renewable energy – how do we ensure appropriate community benefit and that the volume and scale of developments doesn’t negatively impact residents, the tourism economy and our landscapes

 

AGENDA

  1. Opening Remarks – Overview of current challenges facing Skye, its businesses and the tourism economy
  2. Community Voices – A session for businesses to share their individual challenges and views
  3. Discussion on Infrastructure and Environmental Concerns – Identifying critical areas needing attention and potential solutions.
  4. Strategic Planning for Advocacy – Outlining key areas for SkyeConnect’s focus over the next six months
  5. Collaborative Solutions and Resource Pooling – Exploring opportunities for joint initiatives and support
  6. Closing Remarks and Action Plan

REGISTER FOR THE EVENT HERE

HIGHLAND COUNCIL PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON HIGHLAND SUSTAINABLE TOURISM STRATEGY
 

The Highland Council have launched a public consultation on a new Sustainable Tourism Strategy for the Highlands. This strategy has been developed in preparation for the introductrion of the Visitor Levy. Your views and feedback are crucial to ensure that Skye and surrounding areas are represented in the development of this strategy.

 

Please follow the LINK to share your feedback before the deadline on 26th June.

 

This is an opportunity for community voices to be heard and considered so it’s vital that feedback is provided and voices are heard on this very important development.

MOFFAT CENTRE RESEARCH INTO SUCCESS FACTORS FOR TOURISM IN ISLAND COMMUNITIES

 

The Moffat Centre are conducting a comprehensive survey aimed at gathering insights from both residents and visitors of the Scottish islands: the Isle of Skye, the Orkney Islands (the Mainland), and the Isle of Arran.

 

This survey is a crucial component of a research project aimed at identifying key factors that contribute to successful tourism on these islands.

 

Your participation is important as it will provide essential insights into how certain factors related to tourism impacts both local communities and tourist experiences.

 

Please follow the LINK to access the survey.

 

The study seeks perspectives from two groups:

  • Residents
  • Visitors

 

About the Survey:

The research is funded and supervised by Glasgow Caledonian University.

 

Please note the following:

Participation in this survey is voluntary, and your responses will be confidential.

 

The survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete.

 

By completing the survey, you consent to the use of your data for research purposes.

 

We encourage you to take your time and provide thoughtful responses to each question. Your recent experiences and perspectives are particularly valuable in providing up-to-date insights into the tourism dynamics of these destinations.

 

Token of Appreciation:

As a token of gratitude for your participation, you will have the opportunity to enter a prize draw offering a chance to win a donation to a charity of your choice.

 

If you have any comments or questions about this study, please contact the researcher, Doriana Chodor, PhD candidate, at doriana.chodor@gcu.ac.uk

IMPORTANT SERVICE INFORMATION FROM CALMAC FERRIES
 

From Fiona Galbraith, Area Ops Manager, North:

“I am very sorry to inform you that from Monday, MV Loch Fyne will be redeployed from the Mallaig – Armadale route down to the Largs – Cumbrae route. I realise that both of you have queried this recently and I had advised that this was not the intention. I can only apologise that this is now happening and please be assured that I heard clearly the daily and economic impact this has on the Mallaig and South Skye communities when you raised this earlier in the week on the FSG and I did pass them on to be considered in the prioritisation and decision making process.

 

The decision has been made to redeploy the Loch Fyne based on a further delay to the repairs on the Loch Shira (now expected to be completed in early July) and the 2 vessels currently operating on Largs – Cumbrae not coping with the volumes that are travelling and at times with waits on either side of up to 4 hours. I realise that this does not ease the issues you will face with the removal of the vessel but I just wanted to provide some background around the decision.

 

As you know, the Fyne will require modifications to her ramps on her way down to the Clyde and on her return. These modifications are expected to take 3 days at each end of her redeployment.

 

To try and ease the impact that this will cause to the Mallaig – Armadale route, we are hoping to increase services with MV Coruisk and also bring the Loch Bhrusda up to support once the Fyne arrives down on the Clyde. I’ll provide an update on both of these once we’ve made some more progress.

 

Once again, I am very sorry to be sharing this news with you and I do understand the issues this will cause to our communities on both sides of the route and can only apologise for this.”

 

For more information please follow the LINK

 

THE SCOTTISH WOMEN’S CONVENTION IS COMING TO ISLE OF SKYE AND KYLE TO HOLD ROADSHOW EVENTS

This is a FREE event with refreshments and snacks provided. As sensitive issues are likely to be discussed, they aim to provide a safe, confident, and comfortable space to allow these experiences to be shared. These events are, therefore, only open to women to attend and from the age of 16years up.

Their ‘roadshow’ events take the form of informal roundtable discussions, where women can talk freely about issues that are important to them, in their local area. While the SWC asks broad questions, discussions are led by the women. A report is produced, which is sent to women who attended and to local and national politicians. It is hoped that the women will use the document to press for the change that they want to see within their communities. Information gathered then goes on to be included in Scottish and UK Parliament and Government consultations and calls for evidence, so that real women’s voices are heard as part of the decision-making process.

Below are the areas where roadshows will be hosted:

Monday 17th June 2024

6.30pm – 8.00pm

Ardvasar Community Hall

Isle of Skye

IV45 8RS

 

Wednesday 19th June 2024

11.30am – 1.30pm

Skye Bridge Studios

Kyle of Lochalsh

IV40 8DA

 

Friday 21st June 2024

11.00am – 1.00pm

Portree Community Centre

Isle of Skye

IV51 9BW

 

The Scottish Women’s Convention would love to invite all women from the area. They are keen to meet with and hear from as many women in the area and surrounding areas as possible.

The Scottish Women’s Convention was set up by the Scottish Executive in 2003 in recognition of the need to ensure women’s voices reached policymakers. They work to ensure that women throughout Scotland have an opportunity to be involved in activities and events. The information gathered is reported to key decision-makers at both local and national level. Working across Scotland, the organisation seeks to illustrate real women’s views, experiences, and concerns on key policy areas.

Please follow the LINK to register

SKYE AND LOCHALSH COUNCIL FOR VOLUNTARY ORGANISATIONS WORKSHOP ON LOCAL ISSUES RELATED TO CHILDCARE
 

Skye and Lochalsh Council for Voluntary Organisations are hosting a workshop on local issues related to Childcare on the 11th June (11am-12.30pm or 6.00pm – 7.30pm)

 

The workshops will be led by :

  • Tracy P Mcilvar, Early Learning & Childcare Commissioner (West), Area Education West, Education and Learning, Highland Council
  • Jacqueline McGuigan, Senior Development Manager, Housing, Skills and Population, HIE
  • Supported by Jaci Douglas, Chief Executive and Debbie Campbell, Head of Services from the Care and Learning Alliance (CALA)

 

They are open to any organisation or individual who has an interest in childcare and will:

  • Share the work currently being undertaken by community groups and statutory organisations
  • Consider the scale of the crisis and the barriers to solutions
  • Share local experience and issues
  • Consider actions community groups could take forward

 

If you would like to attend one of the workshops please email jo.ford@slcvo.org.uk.

 

You can also call them on 01478 612921

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