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Loch Ness communities band together in an ambitious bid to improve local health and wellbeing, economy, culture, sport and environment

By Imogen James

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Susan Clark, Carol Masheter and Monique Riddle of Glen Urquhart Community Rural Association at Loch Ness Hub, Drumnadrochit.
Susan Clark, Carol Masheter and Monique Riddle of Glen Urquhart Community Rural Association at Loch Ness Hub, Drumnadrochit.

Residents near Loch Ness are being urged to help shape the future of their community by taking part in a survey.

The Glenurquhart Community Action Plan (CAP) will be launched on Tuesday with an aim of improving the area over the next 20 years.

Residents are being invited to give their views and join in discussions on topics ranging from health to the local economy.

It is being led by Glen Urquhart Rural Community Association (Gurca) who joined forces with charity Soirbheas and Glen Urquhart Community Council.

The plan, available online and as a hard copy, has been broken down into themes including people’s health and wellbeing, local economy, culture, sport, and environment.

Susan Clark, a Gurca trustee, said Glen Urquhart was a vibrant, rural community.

“As a community it has achieved a great deal over the past few years such as the Glen Urquhart Care Centre, the Glen Urquhart Childcare Centre, the GCP houses and most recently the Loch Ness Hub,” she said.

“But now is an important time to look at the future of our growing community. Covid-19 recovery, the impact of Brexit and the climate emergency all provide a catalyst to look at our future and talk about how we want to address key issues here in Glen Urquhart.

“We want the people who live and work and have businesses in the community to be involved in that process and to tell us what they think.”

The survey will be open for a few months and will allow Gurca to create a well-rounded picture of what residents want to see.

Covid has halted plans for physical sessions, but these are expected to take place in the future.

Ms Clark continued: “Gurca, Soirbheas and the community council are eager that as many people as possible who live in, work in, have businesses in or own land in Glen Urquhart, take part in the CAP process so that it is as inclusive as possible.

“The CAP will be used in a number of ways including prioritising the projects that the community deliver themselves, helping Soirbheas to direct their funding, as support for funding applications which are made to other funders for projects, directing lobbying at either Highland Council or Scottish Government or statutory bodies where it is for them to make improvements.”

Gurca aims to have the CAP in place by summer to begin improvements.

For hard copies of the survey, contact Carol Masheter on 07514 452783 or to follow progress online click here

For stories about the Loch Ness Monster click here

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