July Newsletter

Catch up with all the project news updates, which covers various announcements from The Board

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Strategic Plan

The Board had identified that the previous development plan was out-dated and needed refreshing. With funding from HIE we engaged with professional consultants to help collate a new Strategic Plan along with input from community consultations.

It is important to have a Development Plan, not only to provide a clear communication to the residents of the three islands of the path we are following, but also as an essential document required by external funders when it comes to grant funding.


The Board have carefully looked at all of the costs and available funding to progress with the two new-build bungalows at Johnstone Road, and are now content to proceed with the houses.  We will continue looking to secure further funding to reduce the Trusts contribution, but it was felt that the importance of creating new housing on Rousay was too great not to move forward with the project. Once some design aspects are finalised we can then gain full planning and hopefully start work before the end of the year.

We would still encourage anyone looking for housing on the isles (social or otherwise) to fill in out Homehunt form, as that helps us build a picture of what is required by current and future residents.

Based on some initial submissions to the Homehunt scheme, we have identified the need for smaller rentable flats.  With that in mind we are looking at the feasibility of gaining funding to acquire the Manse which the Church of Scotland are looking to sell.  There might be a possibility of creating self contained flats whilst also retaining some community space.  We will be progressing an application to the Scottish Land Fund which, if successful, will allow us to get funded professional support to help look at all of the options and costs.

Orkney Council Seminar

Our trust manager, Stuart, represented the Trust at a seminar where all of the 10 Orkney based Development Trusts presented to the elected members.

The Trusts delivered presentations on Local Development Plans, Housing, Tourism, Net Zero, Community Transport, Wellbeing, Community Hubs and partnership working.  These were followed by a breakout session which focussed on identifying opportunities for improved partnership working.

Councillor David Dawson, chair of the Development and Infrastructure committee, who chaired the seminar said, “The members were impressed by the presentations from the Development Trusts and fully appreciate the hard work that goes on in the communities they serve.  This should be the start of a renewed collaboration with the Trusts, and we must keep the momentum up and build on the good work already being done.”

Community Transport

After feedback from our initial trials of the community ‘dial-a-ride’, we have extended the pilot for another couple of months, and extended the Wednesday service to be mornings and afternoon to cover the surgery, shop and post office.

Bookings can be made by phone or email.


We have applied to ‘adopt’ the phone box on Pier Road, with the intention of refurbishing it and possibly turning into an information point for visitors. 

The other two phone boxes on Rousay are not able to be adopted as the mobile signal is (apparently) not strong enough in those areas, so BT have to keep them operational.  They now know that they are not in a useable condition and are set to refurbish them and make them useable.

Website Update

Work is continuing on our new website.  We are looking for some amazing images to show off the islands in their best light, so please send in any stunning shots you have. 

Landscapes, seascapes, events, daily life, people…. a selection would be great.

Photos/links can be emailed to info@rewdt.org, or added to our shared google drive.

Youth Group

The Rousay Youth Clubs have been busy throughout June!

Trust manager, Stuart Williams, has been teaching the older children some rope skills, including safety techniques. We learnt many knots, including overhand, granny, bowline and even a trucker’s knot! The children really enjoyed learning this useful skill.

We have also had two very exciting and informative visits on Wednesday afternoons. Ian Donaldson (Rousay First Responder) came along with the ambulance to show the children inside and talk about what all the different equipment is used for. We even got to hear the siren and see the blue lights!

Following this, Maggie Drosso (Nurse Practitioner) visited to teach the children how to do CPR (using the Resusci Annie doll), the recovery position and how to call for help in an emergency. She also showed them the defibrillator box outside the school building. The children learnt a lot from these visits and are more equipped now to stay calm and act in a medical emergency.

A huge thank you to all our external visitors for their insight and engaging sessions! 

More like this

24/02/2024 Please click here to see the approved board meeting minutes for the meeting held on 24/02/2024

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New public access computer at the cabin

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