‘CAP’ Cakes, Bat Phones and an impromptu gig: Jura Development Trust’s model for engagement

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Rural Housing Scotland visited the Island of Jura on Saturday 28th April to attend the Jura Development Trust’s Community Action Plan (CAP) event.

That it had to be rescheduled due to some rather awful weather in March definitely ended up being a positive. We were treated to some unbelievable weather, the DT were able to develop an even stronger understanding of how the CAP can help map a clearer route towards the community’s “Dream Jura” and it also coincided with the election of a new Jura Community Council.

Following the trip from Tayvallich to Craighouse, we had a round table discussion (and lunch) with the Jura DT, Cllr Anne Horn and the Development Trusts Association Scotland (DTAS).

The CAP launch event was very well attended – especially considering how good the weather was – with attendees receiving an explanation of the process taken to create the CAP and how it will be used, a talk from Sandy Brunton (DTAS and Mull and Iona Community Trust) about his experiences of community development and a brief explanation from ourselves on how communities can influence the delivery of affordable housing in their area.

Following the presentations, the all important tea, coffee and “CAP Cakes” were brought out which is always an effective method of encouraging discussion! The more informal discussion held will hopefully help spread awareness of the CAP, how the Jura DT hope to progress projects and that there are organisations who’s very purpose is to help communities build the future they want.

The rest of the day was spent taking a stroll along the Corran Sands path, playing a tune on the ‘Bat Phone’ installation and then off to the hotel for dinner. Safe to say that the local malt was sampled which may have resulted in the impromptu music and singing. However, this is often when some of the most intriguing conversations are held; when folk are a bit more ‘relaxed’.

By the time we were getting on the RIB back to Tayvallich, only 24hrs after arrival, it was evidently clear that there is a buzz on Jura about its future. A large part of that future will involve a bit of out-the-box thinking on how the community can deliver the affordable housing that will help it continue to grow.