Canna-A small island with a big future

Crowd funding appeal to build three community owned houses on the remote Isle of Canna.

The tiny community of 15 on the Isle of Canna is appealing for donations to help complete the funding package to build three community owned houses.  The aim is to gradually increase the population of Canna to around 30 but currently there are no available empty houses on the island to enable the population to grow.  The Isle of Canna Community Development Trust (IoCCDT) has launched a crowd funding appeal to complete the £750,000 total of funding required to build the houses. The community has to raise £200,000 as their contribution to the overall cost.

The houses will be managed and owned by the community; they will be warm, energy efficient and let at affordable rents.The island’s owner, the National Trust for Scotland, have released the land needed for this development. It is planned to start building these 3 new community owned houses inspring 2022 so that Canna can welcome its new residents later in 2022. 

Geraldine Mackinnon, Chair of the Isle of Canna Community Development Trust, said: “The Isle of Canna Community may be small but we are always up for any challenge that will help us create a sustainable future for our island. We have a positive track record with previous projects and hope everyone will come on board and help us make our Community Housing a reality.”

The Small Isles archipelago

The Isle of Canna is the westernmost of the Small Isles archipelago, in the Scottish Inner Hebrides. It is owned by the National Trust for Scotland and is a two-hour ferry journey from Mallaig. The current number of permanent residents on Canna is 15. This housing project is a major step toward their eventual aim of having 30 people on Canna. Canna is home to the award-winning Cafe Canna, is renowned for its safe harbour, a wealth of wildlife and a vibrant community. The IoCCDT was set up in 2013 to enable sustainable development and manage community assets. Since 2013, IoCCDT has successfully set up a community shop, community moorings, an all-tides road to enable Sanday residents vehicular access at all times and an integrated renewable energy project.

The IoCCDT has worked with the Community Housing Trust to develop the current housing project and funding is available from the Scottish Government’s Rural Housing Fund and a range of trusts and foundations.Building on islands increases costs by an estimated 30-40% and the tiny population of Canna needs to raise enough money to fill the funding gap for houses that are essential to its sustainable future.

The IoCCDT’s development plan for the island’s future include the renovation and development of Coroghon Barn and the creation of a Visitor Hub to provide for the over 10 – 15,000 visitors every year. With these ambitious plans there is a need for more people on Canna to help make this future a reality. There are several other employment and self-employment opportunities on the island including staff for existing businesses and new business start-ups.

Contributions toward making Canna a more sustainable place to live can be made via our crowd funding page:

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