Saturday, 17 September 2016

The Ferry Stores

At the recent Community Council meeting, chairman Geoffrey Campbell read out a prepared statement agreed with Jonathan Ball's family. In it, they thanked the community for their support through these very difficult times, but warned that Jonathan would not be returning to the shop, and that the present arrangement, whereby the family is travelling here as often as possible to help the staff run the shop, cannot continue.

It had always been Jonathan's hope that, when he retired from the shop in a few years' time, he would sell it to the community. The West Ardnamurchan Community Development Company, of which Jonathan is a director, has therefore been preparing itself to exercise the community's right-to-buy under current Scottish legislation. The company has now reached the point, in a very lengthy process, of having to go out to the community to ask for its support in moving to the next stage. This will be followed later by another community vote which will require much stronger community support.

Immediately, WACDC needs to prove that at least 10% of those within the West Ardnamurchan area who are registered to vote locally support the move to "register an interest" in buying the shop. The easiest way to find out whether it has that support is by a petition, which will be available to everyone shortly. Agreeing to proceed does not commit the community to buying the shop in due course, but it does enable WACDC to move to the next stage.

I hope everyone will support WACDC in what it is doing. If local residents have any questions, they know where to find me.


  1. There must be many people, like me, who have loved having holidays in the area who could be agreeable to supporting this project? After all, the Mingary Castle appeal was for a chance to buy a stone - and that was for a building that would then be an exclusive hotel in order to keep it viable. Not many of us who have loved our holidays in your area would be able to take advantage of that, but if we can come back to the Kilchoan area then the shop is the only one for many miles - I imagine that the Ardnamurchan Estate would also want it to be available to their visitors. My own local village shop closed, but we can at least only drive 9 miles on a fast road to the nearest small town. If the Kilchoan store closes it would have a much worse impact on not only local people, but also the tourist industry in the area. You obviously need someone local to take on the store, but maybe shares could be issued? I do understand that the immediate issue is to get local support, but I do think that if financial aid is needed, it will be out there!

  2. Many thanks for this comment, littlegrebe. The Community Development Company would certainly explore this method of raising funds if/when the shop came on the market. Jon

  3. I second littlegrebe's sentiments and as a regular visitor to Ormsaigbeg find the shop invaluable. I would be interested in supporting a share option or crowd funding enterprise too

  4. I too would like to help - is there a way of people registering that they would be supportive - an email for WACDC for example so someone can build up a list of interested people?

  5. It is very heartening to receive these comments - my thanks to all of you. We have a long way to go before any decisions are made but will keep readers informed. Jon