Westray Development TrustNews

July Newsletter

We publish a double-page spread of news in Westray’s monthly magazine ‘Auk Talk’. Purchasing Auk Talk supports the work of the Westray Heritage Centre.

New Website

Thanks to the Orcadia Design team and funding from Highlands & Islands Enterprise, our website has had a revamp! Explore www.westraydevelopmenttrust.co.uk to see our new layout, our new news section, and our brand-new online application forms. Now you can apply for an Education, Community, Entertainment, or Investment Budget Grant directly through our website. This makes it easier for people to apply using a smartphone or tablet. We also have a new section to host surveys through our website. However, as we don’t have any community consultations underway at the moment this page is inactive for the time being.

As the website is new we still have some work ahead of us updating content. So please bear with us as the staff team learns how to use and edit the new site. In the meantime, if you would like to see our meeting minutes please email admin@westraydevelopmenttrust.co.uk

We’d like to thank Phil at Westray Digital Art for his work maintaining our website for many years. We wish Phil all the best in his retirement. 

Bayview – Housing

The renovations of Bayview remain on schedule for completion by the end of October 2021. Currently, work at the site is now turning to install the new plumbing and electrics into the building.

For those who have taken parts of the old Bayview roof, don’t forget to submit your donation to the WDT office. Your donation will be shared between the community groups who use the Bargain Box.

The housing subgroup within the WDT Board has also been busy. We are pleased to announce that we will be working with letting agents Drever & Heddle (D&H). D&H will help to manage the letting of Bayview. The subgroup is now focused on redrafting the local lettings policy. This is with support from D&H and based on the first draft feedback submitted by WDT members in 2020. The wider community will be consulted on this new draft before it is finalised to ensure it reflects community priorities.

We have enjoyed seeing the photos that community members have taken of the works at Bayview. Especially of the new roof installation! If you would like to share your photos with us, whether they be of the current renovations, or old photos of Bayview in its previous incarnations please email them to isobel@westraydevelopmenttrust.co.uk, we’d love to see them.

Bargain Box

We are expecting to be able to make some changes to the operation of the Bargain Box in line with Scottish Government guidelines expected at the beginning of the month. We will be updating the community on any changes through our social media platforms but, for the time being the rules outlined below are still in force:

The following safety rules of only one household at a time, face coverings, 2 metre social distancing and hand sanitising before and after entry are still in force. Appointments are available throughout the week, not just the usual Wednesdays and Saturdays if there is a volunteer available to staff the shop. To book an appointment please contact Trustee Anne Burgher on 01857677344. Donations are on Mondays ONLY at the Höfn, this is to keep it manageable for volunteers and so donations can be isolated before processing for the shop. Again, please contact Anne Burgher for an appointment. Everything fundraised will go into the shared group funding pot.

Public Bins

The Trust is still waiting for written confirmation from Orkney Islands Council that if WDT were to install additional public bins in Westray that these would be emptied by the Council service. This project will not be able to proceed unless this is agreed upon.

It remains Orkney Islands Council’s responsibility to empty the current public bins in Westray. Issues with public bins in Westray should be reported to OIC, not to WDT.

Extra Mobile Library Visit 

The next extra visit funded by the Trust will be Wednesday 11th August 2021. Here is the schedule:

Westray Junior High School – 9am-12pm

Kalisgarth – 12.05 – 12.45pm

Old Kirk – 1.30 – 3.30pm

Beachgrove – 3.45 – 5.15pm

We’ve had some lovely feedback from community members who have enjoyed these extra visits. Please let us know if you’ve enjoyed them too.

Community Garden

We have had an amazing response to the strawberries which have been flying off the shelves of all three shops. The gardeners have been kept on their toes trying to keep up with demand and we are very grateful for the ongoing support from the community. I’m confident that anyone who has been lucky enough to get a punnet will attest to the difference it makes to have gorgeous fresh soft fruit from plant to plate in a matter of hours!

Fresh salad and cucumbers are also now available and the first of the chilis and tomatoes will be on the shelves soon.


WDT has reached out to Orkney Islands Council and volunteered to be part of any discussions around digital connectivity in the isles.  WDT will continue to push for the equitable delivery of the R100 program in Westray and for more clarity on the Government and BT’s plans.

Grants Awarded

You can now apply for Grants easily by using our new online forms on our website. Forms to download and print or email are still available on the website or email admin@westraydevelopmenttrust.co.uk.

We know it’s only July but we are excited to help Community Archaeology Westray (CAW) with a Community Grant of £369 to put towards the costs of printing a series of Westray-themed Christmas cards and look forward to seeing them in the shops later in the year.

We are also pleased to have helped 6 junior golfers take part in Roving Pro Golf Coaching sessions in Westray through our Education and Training Grant scheme.

Turbine Figures

The community turbine produced 179,386kWh of power during June 2021 which gave a gross income (including weighted averaging) of just over £25,000. The average production for the month of June for the Gallowhill turbine is 152,468kWH; however, we produced nothing in June 2018 due to a fault with the turbine so this slightly skews the averages. If we were to take the average excluding June 2018, it would be 167,715kWh which is still slightly below what we produced in June this year.

Contact Us

Our office continues to be restricted by COVID-19 regulations and so we remain closed to the public for the time being. The staff team is implementing a phased return to work which will enable the office to be manned by at least one, but no more than two, members of staff during the Trust’s core opening hours of 9am – 4pm Monday to Friday.

Email – admin@westraydevelopmenttrust.co.uk

Phone – 01857677858

To keep up to date with the latest community development news between Auk Talks visit us;

On our website – www.westraydevelopmenttrust.co.uk

On Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/westraydevelopmenttrust

           – Westray Community Garden Project

On Instagram – @westraydevelopmenttrust