Rousay Eglisay & Wyre Development Trust
On behalf of the Development Trust we would like to welcome you to Rousay, Egilsay and Wyre.
Introduction to REW DT.
Our three islands are home to a community of approximately 260 people. These residents worked together to form our Development Trust in September 2006, with a view to tackling our local issues and improving the quality of life for those living in our communities. Our aim, broadly, is to help our three beautiful islands to be both vibrant and sustainable.
To achieve this we gather ideas from our residents; identify projects; and with the aid of funding obtained via Government and social initiatives or by the funds we produce from our turbine, turn these ideas into projects or community assets. In recent years we have constructed the 900kW community-owned wind turbine, provided community gardens, introduced wifi centres, sought ways to make our homes and community buildings warmer and cheaper to run, introduced a grants and bursaries scheme, and we regularly organise the annual Rousay Lap Half Marathon and from 2018 our Peddie Lap 5K fun race. Further details of these, and other projects we are currently working on, can be found on this website.
Many of the UKs smaller islands have similar issues to ours, such as, a population decline (especially amongst the young), an ageing population, below average recreational facilities, a decline in traditional industries, limited employment opportunities, low wages and fuel poverty.
Our Development Trust is trying to further enhance the quality of life, preserve our community and secure our future. All island residents over the age of 18 can apply to become a member of the Trust. Our directors are elected from within the membership, by the members themselves, and the combined Board makes decisions on what projects the Trust should develop, to try and meet these aims.
How it all started
Following a series of reports commissioned by the public sector, Rousay Egilsay and Wyre were defined as "becoming threatened" evidenced by
- Population decline
- Below average economic activity
- An ageing population
- Reliance on inward migration
Orkney- wide issues were also identified
- High transport and shipping costs
- A trend of depopulation on the inner and outer isles with a gradual centralistaion of people in Kirkwall and on the mainland
- A general decline in the traditional industries of fishing and farming resulting in a need to train and support new business
- High levels of under-employment, low wages and fuel poverty
With the support of Orkney Islands Council and HIE, Rousay Egilsay and Wyre formed a Development Trust to establish a way forward where we could start to reverse some of these trends.
At an open meeting held on 18 September 2006 it was agreed to establish a Community Development Trust for the three island group. This mirrored activities across Orkney where island communities have chosen to set up Trusts to take forward a range of local projects.
We are registered as a company limited by guarantee and have charitable status. This enables us to apply for funds that other community groups can't. It enables us to own assets such as land and buildings.
We have been advised by and work in partnership with various agencies including Rousay Egilsay, Wyre and Gairsay Community Council, Egilsay, Rousay and Wyre Community Associations, Orkney Islands Council (OIC) and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
The Trust was formed legally on 16 March 2007 and the current Directors were formally elected onto the board in 2008.
For our latest accounts click here
Who's on board?
Between them members of the board have gained a range of academic and professional qualifications. subjects include Science, Marine Biology, Business Administration, Project management, Service Delivery, Music, Craft and Design and Civil Engineering to name but a few.
Skills and experience
The Directors and staff of the Trust have an enormous range of skills and knowledge gained from years of experience in a diverse range of occupations including Farming, Teaching, Structural Engineering, Science, Music, Ferry and Airline Services, Hospitality Trades, Plant and Machinery, Haulage & Transport, Agricultural Services, Secretarial, Active Service, Utililty Companies, Accountancy, Retail Trades, Construction, Business Analysis, IT services, Printing and Publishing, Renewables and Environmental Services.
Voluntary and Charity commitments
Trust board members and staff are actively involved in a variety of voluntary community and charity groups. This involves putting time and effort into activities that help others and create social opportunites. Involvement in organisations and activities such as the Citizens Advice Bureau, Rousay Egilsay and Wyre Community Associations, Parent School Council, Gun Club, Darts Club, Certified First Aider, Fire Fighter, Coastguard, Rousay Egilsay Wyre and Gairsay Community Council and the Small Boat Owners Association. Members of the Trust also organise events to raise funds for community groups and charities such as RNLI and Cancer Research UK
Your Personal Data, REW DT / HSO Ltd and the new GDPR Act (General Data Protection Regulations)
News for REWDT
The REW DT 2021/22 intergrated signed accounts can be found here
For the minutes from the 06 December 2022 board meeting, please click here
The work by Casey’s has now been completed but there is still some work to do before we can have the official opening in the Spring 2023. The planters also need to be filled early in the new year for the opening - if you are interested in helping to do this, please let Peter or Helen know.
In the meantime, if you do want to have a look at the boardwalk, please take care as it is not completely finished and you will therefore be accessing the boardwalk at your own risk.
Photos of the boardwalk are on our Favebook page.