THIS PROJECT IS BEING PART-FINANCED BY THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT AND THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY ORKNEY LEADER 2007-2013 PROGRAMME
[clearleft] (July 2012) The Hofn is now 12 years old and was very much in need of refurbishment. Some interior work has been done and we have received grant funding from the Orkney Islands Council Community Development Fund and the Orkney LEADER project towards the building extension works. Building work on the extension is well under way, new furniture has been bought and the quiet room has received a new look with a fresh coat of paint. The young folk of the island have done some fundraising, including holding a jumble sale in January that raised funds for various youth groups. A group of representatives from the Hofn attended a Board meeting and handed over £500 to the Chair. All their fundraising will be used to furnish and equip the Hofn.
Once the work is complete the young folk that use the Hofn are hoping to hold an event to ‘re-open’ the youth centre. Watch this space for further details.
The Hofn is available for hire and bookings can be made through the Island Diary room booking service at http://www.westrayslivingheritage.co.uk, or contact the caretaker, Stephen Cowe on 677 404. The charges are £5 for a two hour booking, £10 for a half day and £20 for a full day. All prices are subject to VAT at the standard rate.
A preliminary date for the AGM has been set as Monday 28th October. Items for discussion will include a review of the Memorandum and Articles of Association of WDT. We will keep members and the general community up to date as arrangements progress.
Currently only around 40% of Westray houses are able to be offered a 2 mbs broadband service (considered a baseline for todays internet needs), with many areas of Westray where speeds are unacceptably slow, and frequent drop-outs of service even in “good” areas.
With the push from the UK and Scottish Governments to implement a new superfast Internet highway that utilises the Next Generation Access (NGA) broadband technology we want to make sure Westray has the best opportunities for getting the same level of service as everywhere else, which in our remote community means we have to take some initiative ourselves.
Its exciting to see other projects where communities have installed their own fibreoptic cable, or are running their own telecoms companies, and doing it all for the same kind of ongoing cost as traditional service providers.
Westray has got together with two other Isles development trusts to investigate what really is possible here. An initial feasibility study is now underway (mid October 2012) to see if fibreoptic cable laying really is an option, whether working in partnership with other isles will give an economy of scale to make it financially viable, and whether community ownership or management of any part of internet services would be appropriate. With the results of the study to hand we will be in a good position to put in a bid to the new £5 million Community Broadband Fund to make it all happen, as well as being able to share what we learn with other isles.