Officially a charity!!!

As of 31st October 2017, Community Moorings Scotland is officially registered with The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) as a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO). This has been a six-month process from drafting the constitution as a member-led charity to applying for and adapting our charity application. But now we can officially say that charity no. SC047877 is Community Moorings Scotland, known as ‘CMS’. This is great news as not only does it give us our official stamp of recognition as a worthwhile charity and approves our charitable aims, it also allows us to enter into contracts, open bank accounts and trade. Basically it is a big fat ‘GO’!!!  Full details of our charitable purposes, our ‘objects’ and Constitution will be added to the website in due course, along with trustee details and more officialdom now we are registered, however for now we just wanted to spread the … Continue reading

Awesome funding news for Narrowboat Farm

As many of you know i applied for a farm start-up grant back in October. Well it took a while but we have now been awarded the grant which in a round-about way is also great news for Community Owned Moorings (COMs). Why? Well as Narrowboat Farm (NBF) is the pilot site for COMs, it is down to NBF to put in place an infrastructure to host the first COMs site. Apart from all the glorious (or long-winded, beurocratic, boring paperworky) permissions required, the biggest barrier to COM sites is set-up costs. Once a site is set up and boaters are paying fees, then all should be hunky-dory but access to land and putting in services is an expensive business. Plus, once the pilot site has proven it’s worth, it will be easier to attract investment in further sites. We’ve managed to get a bare minimum infrastructure in place at … Continue reading

Getting to the nitty gritty with SC and prices!!!

So our last interaction with SC was an email from us on the 16th January. Last week we received a response from Deborah Burns who is our main point of contact now. You can read and comment on the latest response at the end of this document: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vC5wjJC3fCMyWza9gqHW-4qeyTQkvhMIfl5u8_5I2lM/edit?usp=sharing But to cut to the chase, here are the first actual costs they have given us in the email: “ I was looking for some form of alternative proposal from you in terms of what rent you could afford to pay based on your appraisal projections.  In order to move this point forward I have a suggestion (subject to contract); Basing mooring prices on the market rates for the closest comparable we have at Causewayend I would anticipate you should be able to generate the following income; Residential mooring (2 of) – £5400 per annum Commercial mooring (1 of) – £2,700 per annum … Continue reading

Heads of Terms Negotiations Continue

The process of negotiating terms under which we can trade as ‘Community Moorings Scotland’ (or something more snappy) began with their first edition on 5th August and has gone back to them with our edit of 5th October, then back to us with their edit of 10th November. Then they decided they didn’t want to negotiate anymore! Well, they were trying to make out that they had negotiated enough and we should sign something off. So we have just emailed them back with the issues we see within their latest version. If you would like to see the various versions and edits, go to this google document: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vC5wjJC3fCMyWza9gqHW-4qeyTQkvhMIfl5u8_5I2lM/edit?usp=sharing  

Narrowboat Farm has been dredged :-)

After weeks of procrastination, Scottish Canals have finally dredged the bank along the length (175m) of Narrowboat Farm! Oh and i’m going to repeatedly call it Narrowboat Farm to try to gt the name to stick! Look at this gorgeous gloop waiting to be shaped into a sumptuous edge: OK, you can tell i’m excited. So back to reality, they did two days of dredging so i’m not sure how thorough a job that is, but they also peeled back the weed on the off-side too. Given that the state of the canal here was OK to start with, i’m feeling pretty confident about the mooring potential for this stretch of canal. They even left the dredger in the canal overnight and boats could get past OK, so we could even be looking at the potential of widebeams being able to moor and other widebeams get past. This has now … Continue reading

Wow, you won’t believe what just happened!!!

OK, so how else was i going to make you open an update about paperwork! Click-bait ahoy!!! Does anybody have a particular penchant for paperwork? Please come forward! We have lots to do! If anyone can pop their heads up and say ‘i’ll help with that one’ that would be really appreciated. Even if you only have an hour or two to do a bit of research one evening and send in your findings, that would be great! So before you fall asleep half way through this update and close the page 😉 please please find one that sparks your interest and contribute, whether it is funding, how moorings are run or how to pitch our project. Please please please! In no particular order… The ‘vision’ document for Scottish Canals and eventually funders/others: Steve Dunlop requested a very clear and detailed vision document detailing the vision for Community Moorings and … Continue reading

May update on Narrowboat Farm!

So firstly, ‘Narrowboat Farm’ it is! No longer ‘field E of Park Farm’ or ‘Iain’s mud’ or whatever haha! This name reflects the dual-purpose nature of the site, both to moor boats and to create a local food supply. And the link between the two – using the canal for food transport in this area again for the first time (please correct me) in nearly 200 years! We have a draft logo for the site, feedback welcome on this but it seems to be very popular so far. The name and logo are also aimed at non-boaters, hence the obviousness of it and not worrying about the fact it doesn’t represent all types of boats that will be there. No offence intended to widebeams, cruisers and submarines 🙂 Here is a photo-based update on what has been going on at the site: All the physical work on site was on … Continue reading

A (surprisingly) very positive meeting with SC bigwigs!

Early this month myself (Iain Withers) and Alastair Martin met up with Steve Dunlop and Katie Hughes for what we thought may be a crunch meeting revealing the ‘sting in the tail’ of the so-far positive response from SC. I’m happy to report that the cautious optimism about SC’s support of the project can happily continue after the meeting! Here are my meeting notes for your perusal… 9th May 2016: Meeting with Steve Dunlop & Katie Hughes So i reckon the no.1 thing i came away from the meeting with was that they do actually want it to happen and there isn’t going to be a financial sting in the tail. They have clearly stated that there is no (direct) financial incentive for them. They were very keen that the project is done in the right way, with the right structure, transparently and independent of the SC brand. All of which is … Continue reading

Latest Opportunities To Help: May 2016

This is the first of the updates on how to help. I’ll put one main post per month and update that regularly as new opportunities arise or are completed… Specific dates/times for help: 9th May: Meeting with Katie Hughes and Steve Dunlop to talk through the Linlithgow site, business plan and funding. Currently Iain Withers & Alastair Martin to attend. 12th May: Meet the Funders event will take place on Thursday 12 May 2016 in the Council Headquarters Waverley Court, 4, East Market Street, Edinburgh from 5pm to 8pm. This will be a good opportunity to put the project to funders and assess our eligibility to a lot in one go. Another body or two to attend this would be appreciated… Behind The Scenes: a) The Business Plan: We need to get a solid business plan together for the moorings and have to present elements of it to Scottish Canals on … Continue reading

An update on the field near Linlithgow

After the recent lowland users meeting a group of us went to have a wee gander and get an update on progress at ‘the field’ or as Davie refers to it as the ‘Ponderosa’ which is a reference to this. I think Davie has grand ideas of the land!!! Anyway, i want to give an update on this site and a flavour for the ‘masterplan’ here. Basically i have bought 4 acres with road access and it adjoins 175m of canal frontage which Scottish Canals owns the first 3m or so. So the moorings would be on Scottish Canal’s land but i intend to develop the land to service the moorings at hopefully very little cost to the moorings project to get a site up and running and ‘test the system’ for Community Moorings. So here is a wee update on the moorings-side and the land-side of things: Moorings (the … Continue reading