Stronsay has a population of around 320 with a thriving Junior High School, two general stores and a community centre and was given Initiative-at-the-Edge status in 2004. The island, once a busy centre for the herring industry, has traditionally also relied on agriculture and fishing for its economic health but it has been recognised that a more diverse set of activities is imperative to give the island a sustainable future.
Stronsay Development Trust
The Stronsay Development Trust is a company limited by guarantee and not having a share capital, with membership open to all permanent residents over the age of 18 who are eligible to vote in a local election. It is also a Scottish Charity.
A community-led organisation, the Trust has a Board elected by the people of Stronsay and works to a Development Plan “Towards a Sustainable Future”.
One major project for the Trust was the building of a 900Kw community wind turbine on the island.
Creation of this asset allows the community to maximize the benefit from renewable technology by not-for–profit generation of a sizeable independent income stream through the sale of electricity to the local grid.
The independent income stream from this project is the basis for a fund which allows the community to become more sustainable and independent and generates financial, social and environmental benefits.
These benefits are achieved by enabling Stronsay Development Trust and other community groups to deliver key outcomes which include:
Current Shared Community Group issues:
- Improve the facilities and marketing of the island.
- Improve sports facilities.
- Safeguard and enhance the NHS Primary Care services
- Upgrade and reduce carbon emissions of current community buildings.
- Improve island transport.
- Safeguard ferry and plane services both to the island and inter-island.
The Development Trust aims to:
- Improve employment opportunities.
- Increase affordable warmth.
- Support the use of renewable technologies, where appropriate, in all new and existing community buildings.
- Create business units.
- Provide training in key skills.
- Increase recreational and cultural activities for all ages and abilities, sports facilities, a music centre, opportunities for developing art and crafts and provide support to existing community clubs.
At present all work of the Trust is carried out by volunteers. The directors of the board provide substantial voluntary effort and various other members of the community have formed sub-groups to progress Trust projects.
Details of ongoing projects and the work of the Trust can be obtained from the chair or the secretary.