Rousay Eglisay & Wyre Development Trust

On behalf of the Development Trust we would like to welcome you to Rousay, Egilsay and Wyre.

View of the Rousay Sound

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.


Our Organisation

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 committments

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)

The REW DT and its trading subsidiaries hold many of our residents’ names, addresses and email/phone contact information, so that we can involve you in our charitable activities. We use this to write and sometimes to email charities, project partners, and when engaging in consultations, including inviting you to our AGM each year. Under the new General Data Protection Regulation, effective from 25 May 2018 (you may have heard reference to the GDPR in the news), REWDT considers such data handling to be a “legitimate interest” and refers to use pertinent to what a member of a charity (or resident) would reasonably expect. However, as individuals, you retain the right to manage how we use your data: - If you wish to stop receiving our letters and emails at any time, please contact the office. And/or To tell us to update or remove your details, or for other queries about, REW DT, its subsidiaries, membership and/or your personal data, please contact Helen at the office.

News for REWDT

5K Peedie Lap 2021 - Photos
Posted 05/09/2021

Well done and thank you to all who came and took part in our 5K Peedie Lap on Saturday 28th August.  

For more than a decade, we have been running a Half Marathon event at the end of August, introducing a smaller 5K route in the last few years, but unfortunately we had to cancel both events last year, so we were especially pleased to be able to put on the 5K event this year as restrictions sufficiently eased recently. The Half Marathon event will return next year.

The Lap began at Rousay War Memorial, taking runners, walkers, and young cyclists up an incline to the main circular road, and then on to the Fire Station, turning around and back to the finish line at the entrance to Trumland House.

Our Laps usually attract good numbers from across Orkney and further afield, but this year was a low-key event for local entrants (and had also been hastily rescheduled from the previous week, due to the wet weather), which saw a much-reduced turnout of 18 on this dry but overcast day, all of whom received a medal at the finish line.

Special thanks go to the volunteers on the day, who helped our staff, and cheered participants on at the finish line, to Rousay Fire Station for opening their toilets for those in need at the halfway point, and to Scottish Water for providing water and reusable water bottles for participants.

Please see a selection of photographs from the event below. 

5K Peedie Lap (New Date)
Posted 24/08/2021

Our 5K Peedie Lap is now scheduled for Saturday 28th August. Registration opens at the War Memorial (Rousay) at 11.30am, with the Lap starting from there at 12 noon. 

The event was originally due to be held last week, but it was postponed due to the wet weather conditions - so fingers crossed for good weather this week! 

The fun event is open to all ages and abilities, and you are welcome to run or walk the route. Children under 12 years of age are permitted to cycle. 

The 5K will take you as far as the Fire Station, before turning around and returning along the route to the gates of Trumland House. 

We are really looking forward to holding our Peedie Lap after being unable to hold either of our annual sports events - the 5K & Half-Marathon - in 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Our Rousay Lap Half-Marathon event will return in 2022. 

5K Peedie Lap - Cancelled (21 August)
Posted 21/08/2021

Unfortunately, we have taken the decision to cancel the 5K Peedie Lap, which was due to be held today, due to the poor weather conditions. 

Apologies for any inconvenience.