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Corran Narrows Socio-economic Study (ECI Executive summary)

as presented to members of the Economy and Infrastructure Committee (02 Dec)

The purpose of the study is to provide a comprehensive statement of the socio-economic role of the Corran Ferry in meeting the needs of Residents, Businesses and Visitors / Tourists who use the ferry. It will also form part of the outline business case, that will support and justify both the internal and external case for capital and revenue investment in the service in the short/medium-term, whilst continuing to make the case for a fixed link in the long-term.

It should be noted that following on from additional feedback from the Corran Ferry Steering Group (as presented previously through LA Committee – 09 Aug 2021) Stantec have amended the Full report to capture local views regarding additional data-based changes in journey time not telling the full story.

Covid Update 1st June

Over the last 7 days there have 89 new positive cases in Highland (to 3rd June).  This means the latest rate per 100,000 has increased from 4.7 when last reported to you two weeks ago to 37.7 per 100,000 as of 1st June.  This is reflective of the increase in cases in the Fort William area but also an increase in cases around the Aviemore area.  

It highlights the need to remain vigilant and to stick to the FACTS – Face Coverings, Avoid Crows, Clean Hands, Two Metres, Self Isolate.

Changes in Restrictions

The Scottish Government confirmed this week that from Saturday 5 June, Highland will move into level 1.  Key features and changes to restrictions at level 1 include:

  • Indoor socialising – maximum 8 people from up to 3 households may socialise indoors in a public place. Maximum of 6 people from up to 3 households may socialise in a private dwelling
  • Outdoor socialising – maximum of 12 people from up to 12 households Under 12s do not count towards restricted numbers or households outdoors
  • Hospitality: Outdoors: local licensing laws apply, Indoors: Closed 23:00 Indoors (8 people/3 households) or outdoors (12 people/12 households) socialising rules apply
  • Leisure and entertainment – All open, with the exception of nightclubs.  Indoor organised adult non-professional performing arts activities permitted.
  • Events and Stadia – Maximum capacities* Indoors: 200 Outdoors seated: 1,000 Outdoors free-standing: 500
  • Going to work/Work from home – work from home where possible
  • Life events – Weddings/Civil Partnerships – 100, Funerals – 100, Post-funeral/wedding receptions permitted – maximum 100 (alcohol permitted)

Fort William Outbreak

The case numbers in the Fort William area have continued to grow this week with the latest update from NHS Highland suggesting that there are over 70 positive cases in the area.  There continues to be a large proportion of the cases that visited bars in Fort William on Saturday 22nd May. Those customers that visited Sunny’s Bar have been identified as close contacts and advised to self-isolate.

The message continues to be that people across the community should be vigilant for any signs of symptoms.  For customers that visited other local bars on Saturday 22 May, please be vigilant for symptoms and consider taking a PCR test.    

If you do believe you have symptoms, please self-isolate and book a PCR test.

Postal PCR kits are available through NHS Inform either online here or by calling 0800 028 2816.

In addition to the local support that is available, people can get support to self isolate by calling the Council’s helpline number: 0300 303 1362.  This can include access to food and supplies to self isolate and individuals may be entitled to a £500 self isolation support grant. 

Please do share information about the outbreak, where to get tested and where to get support across your networks. 

Community Testing 7 June – 11 June

For groups in Badenoch and Strathspey, the community testing unit will continue to be in Aviemore on Saturday 5th June and all of next week.  The mobile unit will be at the retail unit on Grampian Road in Aviemore on the following days and times:

  • Saturday 5 June 10.30 am to 4 pm. 
  • Mon 7 June – Friday 11 June 9.30 to 5 pm.  

The community testing programme offers rapid COVID-19 tests for people without symptoms, and a mobile asymptomatic testing unit was deployed to Aviemore on Wednesday 2 June. There had been small clusters of cases and the people traced to these clusters have been isolating. The mobile testing unit will now remain in Aviemore until Friday 11 June.

At this point, there is still no evidence of wider community transmission. The testing will help identify any asymptomatic cases that may occur, and allow people to become confident in using the test kits.

No appointment is necessary and it will be open both for asymptomatic testing and to collect LFD test kits.

I would appreciate it if you could encourage people across your networks to attend.

Thank you for everything that you are doing in your communities

Best wishes


Alison Clark

Head of Policy

Highland Council

Update on COVID-19 outbreak in Fort William 12th June 2021

Over the last 7 days there have 41 new positive cases in Highland (to 10th June), a fall from the 89 reported last week.  This means the latest rate per 100,000 has decreased from 37.7 per 100,000 last week to 17.4 per 100,000 as of 8th June.  This still reflects an increase in cases around the Fort William and Aviemore areas but that the number of cases in these communities is falling.  

These recent increases do highlight the need to remain vigilant and to stick to the FACTS – Face Coverings, Avoid Crowds, Clean Hands, Two Metres, Self Isolate.

Community Testing 15 June – 18 June

For groups in Nairn, the community testing unit will be at the Links car park, Cumming Street on the following days and times:

  • Tue 15 – Friday 18 June 9.30 to 16.30.  

For groups in Inverness, the community testing unit will be at the Highland Council Headquarters car park, Glenurquhart Road on the following days and times:

  • Wednesday 16 June 9:30am-4:30pm

·         Thursday 17 June 9:30am-4:30pm

  • Friday 18 June 9:30am-1pm

The community testing programme offers rapid COVID-19 tests for people without symptoms.  Just to emphasise that there is no outbreak in Nairn and Inverness but this is to support normalising testing across the area.  

No appointment is necessary and it will be open both for asymptomatic testing and to collect LFD test kits.

I would appreciate it if you could encourage people across your networks to attend.

Dignity & the Right to Food: Responding to Food Insecurity

Nourish are running a workshop on responding to food insecurity.   It focuses specifically on dignity, the human right to food and a food systems framework that can support sustainable solutions to food insecurity.

The workshop will:

  • Further understanding of the link between dignity and the right to food 
  • Hear about case studies where dignity and the right to food have been put in practice 
  • Reflect on how someone involved in community food provision or decision-making can help develop more sustainable solutions to food insecurity founded on dignity and the right to food.

It is aimed at individuals:

  • Involved in community food provision as a community member, volunteer, and / or worker?
  • Involved in local-level decision-making?
  • Involved in some part of the food system and are interested to find out more about sustainable responses to food insecurity?

For further details and to register please go to:

Thank you for everything that you are doing in your communities

“If you have been identified as close contact, please self-isolate and get a PCR test. If you are identified as a close contact and your test is negative you must continue to isolate for 10 days as advised.”

The community should also remain vigilant for the symptoms of COVID-19. The typical symptoms are a new continuous cough, a high temperature or fever and a loss of, or change in, normal taste or smell (anosmia). 

However, people with COVID-19 can present with a wide range of symptoms including headache, sore muscles and joints, tiredness, sore throat, cold-like symptoms and diarrhoea and vomiting. Anyone that becomes unwell should isolate immediately and seek a PCR test.

You can book an appointment online via NHS Inform here or by calling 0800 028 2816. When booking online you should select the option ‘I have been asked to book a test by my local council or health protection team’ which will allow you to book a test even if you don’t have symptoms.

Forthcoming bridge parapet and retaining wall works – Potential delays

Forthcoming bridge parapet and retaining wall works in your area.  The work is being carried out by D A MacRae Stonemason Telephone: 07796 026071.  

Our Bridges Technician (Graham Nisbet) is overseeing all of the works, if you have any queries please contact him direct either via email or by telephone 07884 752357

Traffic management will be in place (during working hours) and is being provided by our DLO, allowing traffic through at 20-minute intervals.     We advise drivers to arrive in adequate time to ensure their journey is not delayed.   

Location plans attached and schedule of works listed below:-

7th – 10th June 2021:

Laga Bridge B8007 Easting: 163308 Northing: 761108 (4 days) Reinstatement of damaged masonry parapets

11th – 16th June 2021

Camus Inas B8007 Easting: 165760  Northing: 761139 (4 days)   Reinstatement of masonry parapet on retaining wall. 

17th – 21st June 2021:

A861 bridge north of Camuschoirk   Easting: 175890  Northing: 761100 ( 4 days) Work to masonry parapets at the Minor bridge at Camusaine, north of Camuschoirk

We apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused during these essential works and thank you for your patience. 

Acharacle Medical Practice Bank Holiday Notice

Acharacle Medical Practice

Easter Holiday Notice

Please note that the surgery will be 
Friday 2nd and Monday 5th April 2021

You will not be able to order repeat medications over the telephone when the surgery is closed.  

If you have access to the internet you may order your medications at any time via the surgery’s e-mail address:-

 Should you require urgent medical attention when the surgery is closed please telephone 111.   Your call will be handled by NHS24 and the OOH service contacted if necessary

Thank you

Social Housing for Rent


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House outline

Lochaber Housing Association will be allocating the following new build properties in Strontian in the coming weeks:

2 bed semi-detached house
3 bed semi-detached house
2 bed upper floor flat
1 bed ground floor flat

The properties are allocated through the Highland Housing Register and if you wish to be considered for any of these properties, you need complete an on-line application form at:

Please contact Lochaber Housing Association on 01397 702530 or e-mail if you have any queries regarding this development or to request a paper application pack.

Corran Ferry Replacement Project

The Corran Ferry

The Community Council is represented on the Corran Ferry Steering Group. We have emphasised the importance of the ferry to our local community as a lifeline service and the concern to keep the current ferry service at the best operational level possible, moderate fares for local residents and to gather information on plans to replace/renew the service.

The current ferries, the MV Corran and the reserve vessel Maid of Glencoul are at the end of their service life and capacity for the very busy operations and need replacement. Option for replacement include:

  • A two ferry replacement to provide 2 x 23-vehicle ferries to meet the future requirements providing a 46-vehicle capacity over the current MV Corran 28-vehicle capacity. (Current operations are 120% of planned capacity achieved by shuttling). This would form a part of a project with Transport for Scotland and CMAL (Caledonian Maritime Assets) Small vessel replacement bid (9 vessel replacements). (Currently preferred )
  • Replace the ferry with a bridge
  • An unlikely option given the recognition of the ferry as a lifeline service is removal of the service and to rely on the around loch road

The ferry replacement will likely take 4-5 years before the first of the 9 ferries are available. There are three important points arising from this:

  1. The current ferry service must be maintained in the meantime. (We have been told that there has been budget allocated for the current maintenance requirements and a plan exists to maintain the current service whilst replacements are built).
  2. We want to be early in the queue of the 9 ferries being built, otherwise it could be 7 years or more before a replacement ferry service is in place. We need to ensure both councillors and government are fully aware of the importance of the crossing. (Currently our Local MSP is also the finance secretary!)
  3. A Socio Economic Study of the Corran Narrows is being commissioned and should include as wide a local input as possible. If you get the opportunity to contribute, please do. This study may shape decisions about the ferry service

It is important therefore to ensure the community voice is heard. You can of course make representations to Highland Councillors or your MSP to make your views on the Ferry known. You can also submit your views to the Sunart Community Council and we will make these known during the ferry steering group meetings. You can contact the SCC using our contact form at: