A SKYE community group has launched a discount scheme to help residents cope with the growing cost of living crisis.
Locals living on the Minginish peninsula in North West Skye will be given a 10 per cent discount on groceries and household fuel at Carbost Community Shop.
It will be funded through income generated by Minginish Community Hall Association (MCHA) from its involvement in the community-owned car park at the world famous beauty spot, the Fairy Pools.
The Fairy Pools Car Park Fund has been set up to benefit residents and offset the pressure of thousands of visitors who flock to see its waterfalls, in the shadow of the Cuillin mountain range.
The car park and toilets, which are run on behalf of MCHA by Outdoor Access Trust for Scotland, have already eased congestion and littering problems.
It also generates an income for a range of projects to benefit residents of Minginish, including the discount scheme, a general grant scheme and a grant to help local school leavers.
MCHA, which administers the fund, has partnered with Carbost Community Shop to introduce this discount scheme.
Beginning in October, the scheme will initially run for a three month trial period, and will cover groceries and household fuel, but will exclude alcohol, tobacco, newspapers and magazines.
Graham Campbell, Chair of MCHA said, “Last year we provided direct funding support to Carbost Community Shop to help it get through its first winter, and going into this winter we felt there was an opportunity to provide support to all Minginish residents with the increased cost of living through this discount scheme and at the same time support the shop by encouraging increased footfall. We feel it is a really good use of the income we generate from the Fairy Pools Car Park and hope it will go some way towards helping our community this winter.”
The discount scheme comes just months after the community took over the shop, which had been at risk of closing, leaving locals to face a 50-mile round trip to the nearest supermarket in Portree.
The former owner had struggled to find a buyer to allow her to retire, threatening the future of the shop, which is also a focal point for the community of around 600 residents.
Local volunteers stepped in and took over the shop, which employs four part-time staff, and offers work experience to teenagers.
Janette Sutherland, Director of Carbost Community Shop says - “Carbost Community Shop is delighted to partner with MCHA to help our community in these times of increasing food inflation.
The store, in the centre of the village of Carbost, offers a range of supplies, including local produce.
The community shop paid £140,000 for the premises, with money for the purchase secured from the Scottish Land Fund, which also covered some of the refurbishments.
The shop, a simple corrugated iron clad building which dates from the early 1950’s, now has a distinctive new red roof, staff toilets and heating. Located at the heart of Carbost village, it will hopefully continue to serve the community for many decades to come.