Rethink Mess Spring Update

The ReThink MESS project has been running from April last year and will run until April 2020. We received grant funding from the Scottish Governments Climate Challenge Fund.

Our Community fridge is going well with 283kg being redistributed or composted since the start of 2019. This would otherwise have gone to landfill, producing methane as it breaks down. This is a great success, and we hope to be saving even more as the 2019 season springs into action.

We have also just sent out leaflets and fridge magnets to all the self-catering properties on Mull and Iona to encourage people at the end of their stay to put any sealed, unopened food that is within its use-by date in the fridge before they get on the ferry. This should increase donations from the public.

After the success of the “Recycling on the go” stations at the Highland games, Bunessan and Salen Shows in 2018. We are awaiting delivery of our Recycling on the go permanent stations, that will be placed around the island. These will be in strategic places around the island.
Our business composting is taking off with the delivery of composters nearly complete. These are for high volume food waste producers out with the Tobermory area who will not be able to use the Big Hanna composter that is coming to Tobermory late April

As part of our carbon education, we are running workshops and events focussed on food waste reduction and low carbon food choices over the course of the project.

We held a Real Junk Food dinner at the start of February at Ballygown Restaurant with 16 attendees. Not only did this highlight that so much good food is wasted, but we also raised £160 that has been donated to MacMillan Cancer Support. We have to thank Jeanette Cutlack for hosting a great evening. Not only agreeing to host it but the added stress of not knowing what she would be getting for ingredients until the evening before!

We’ve had few upcycling events too, with two furniture events, one in Craignure with Jennifer Jack showing attendees how to make chalk paint and then using this on furniture. The other was held by Mull Makers in Fionnaphort over 2 days.

We also held a Bicycle Repair workshop at Bedoun Agri in March which was well attended despite the weather! Thankfully the polytunnel kept us dry.

In early 2019 we held a hot composting workshop which was very well attended with 18 attendees some with composters and others looking at getting one. We had a phone in with some experts at Hotbins UK who were able to give great advice to top up what our resident experts were able to impart.

As spring is in the air, we will be concentrating on the food waste collection service around the Tobermory area. We have had the budget released and are in the process of buying our polytunnel and Big Hanna composter. We are interviewing for staff to run the collections and composting and are signing people up to the trial, keep an eye on the MESS Facebook page for regular updates.

If you wish to get involved or have any comments on any of our outcomes, them please give Ewan Baxter a call or drop him an Email at

Ulva Ferry Shore Facilities Project Update

Ulva Ferry Shore Facilities Update

Over the past 8 months, we have been continuing to work on Phase 2 of the waterfront development at Ulva Ferry – to improve the visitor – and local – experience and services, provide economic benefit to the area and sustain and help develop business opportunities. We have recently been awarded funding from the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund (RTIF) for the proposed car park improvements, the 3 motor home stances and chemical waste disposal point and Ulva car park resurfacing works and this should help with congestion and motorhome management in the summer months.

Over the winter, we have been working with USCA and the local community, developing plans to apply to the Natural and Cultural Heritage Fund (NCHF) for development funding for the shore facilities building at Ulva Ferry. This fund “supports new opportunities to promote the outstanding scenery, wildlife and culture of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland in ways which support inclusive and sustainable economic growth. It has an aim to retain jobs and sustain populations and services in rural communities.”

Interpretation is a key component of the proposed building at Ulva Ferry, and the project has adopted the name Doras Caolas Ulbha – Sound of Ulva Gateway. The project will work in partnership with a number of local and national organisations to interpret and help protect the outstanding natural and cultural heritage of the Loch na Keal National Scenic area, including Staffa and The Treshnish Islands, as well as providing other visitor facilities, such as toilets, showers and laundrette facilities.

The project will signpost to Ulva, local businesses and places of interest, encourage responsible access and it will use innovative technology to bring some of the area’s unique heritage into the centre – making it accessible to all. The project will include a Ranger position and create and support further jobs in the community. Many thousands of  visitors pass through the National Scenic Area in the summer months, it is hoped that the project and visitor management activities will help ensure that the outstanding natural and cultural heritage is sustainable for future generations of residents and visitors.

If you would like to find out more, comment or be involved in Doras Caolas Ulbha, please contact

Nonhebel Park – Tobermory

New tenants receiving their keys!

After many years in the planning, it’s hard to believe that Nonhebel Park (Tobermory Light Industrial Park) has been open for just over two months now, with the first tenants accepting keys for business units and lock up units on the 1st March. The name Nonhebel Park was chosen to commemorate local businessman Andrew Nonhebel who first approached the trust regarding the lack of storage and small business premises in North Mull. An oak tree has been planted within the grounds of the park by Andrew’s family – ‘great oaks from little acorns grow’.

We had hoped to have held an official opening of the park during March, but any such plans are currently on hold due to the current restrictions in place due to Covid-19. No-one could have predicted the impact of the virus on local businesses and our island communities. Whilst we do have vacant units and facilities at the park that we’d like to fill, our focus has been to regularly communicate with our existing tenants to ensure that they are aware of the assistance and support available to them at this unsettling time.

Enquiries regarding premises or storage can be directed to Tel: 01680 812910.

Nonhebel Park, Tobermory

Investment Opportunity

An Opportunity to Invest in the Sustainable Future of Mull

We are offering the opportunity to directly support a
community development which will facilitate economic growth for our community.

Tobermory Light Industrial Park was first conceived when MICT was approached in 2007 by a local businessman who needed more storage for his business. He quickly gathered the details of 12 other individuals and
businesses who required more storage or dedicated small business premises.

MICT purchased the 0.8-hectare site near Tobermory in March 2016 and has secured funding for phase 1 development of the site. However, as demand for small business premises has increased, we are already progressing with phase 2 to provide a further four 60m2 business units at a cost of £180,000. We have exhausted grant funding sources for this type of development to progress phase 1. Before finalising loan finance from a
commercial lender, we would like to offer individuals and businesses the opportunity to make a long term investment in phase 2, thereby retaining the profit with those living on the island or with strong links to it. Of
course, we would also welcome philanthropic donations or offers of interest free loans.

With a minimum long term investment of £1000, you will be supporting a development which will:
• help retain young people on the island and reverse the ageing population
• increase business networking by clustering – leading to greater economic opportunities
• create local employment during the construction phase
• create new employment opportunities in a remote rural area
• create the opportunity for business start-up or expansion
• support the long-term sustainability of indigenous businesses
• enable bulk purchasing through provision of secure storage
• provide storage and leisure opportunities for community use
In return, you will receive a competitive interest rate for the duration of your investment and the knowledge that you are supporting a local social enterprise and charity to progress this development for the benefit of new and expanding Mull-based businesses and our communities.

Please get in touch to find out more:

Mairi Greig
Tel: 01680 812 918

Moray Finch
Tel: 01680 812 905


Volunteer Assistant Ranger

We are looking for a volunteer assistant ranger for 3 months full time beginning early June. This is a great opportunity to develop skills and experience in nature conservation and rangering. The role involves assisting with varied tasks over a number of island sites, including wildlife survey work, delivery of education projects and public events programme, providing information to visitors, practical maintenance tasks. Accommodation and some travel costs will be covered.

You must show enthusiasm for wildlife and the great outdoors. Some knowledge/experience in the relevant field would be useful but more important is flexibility, good communication skills, an ability to work under your own initiative, and a desire to learn. You will need to be willing and able to work outside or inside in all weathers, including some lone working in rugged coastal terrain. Some weekend/evening hours will be required.

Please contact Emily Wilkins for more information and an application form (no CVs please).   01681 700659   07717581405

Closing date: 9am on Monday 8th April

Interview date: week of 29th April


Ulva Ferry Housing Funding Update

MICT are delighted to receive a grant of £18,000 from the Prince’s Countryside Fund in their most recent round of Rural Four funding, supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.  Rural Four aims to support communities in the British countryside cope with isolation and its related issues, with a focus on connecting residents and encouraging the development of community hubs.

The grant for Mull and Iona Community Trust will build on an existing project to part fund a Housing Project Officer, overseeing the development of four new houses for long term affordable rent in Ulva Ferry, on the Isle of Mull. MICT aims to work with the local community to ensure that key decisions at all stages of the project are made by community members, from design through to allocation.

Mull and Iona Community Trust General Manager, Moray Finch, commented, “We are delighted to receive this grant from The Prince’s Countryside Fund, which will enable our Housing Project Officer to take forward plans to deliver four houses for long-term affordable rent at Ulva Ferry on the rural west coast of the Isle of Mull”. 

Community member Josh Liddle, added, “Four houses might not seem much, but in our small community these much-needed new homes will ensure there are more pupils in our primary school, more working age adults to boost local employment and a stronger community overall.  This support from The Prince’s Countryside Fund will ensure we can make our plans a reality.”

The Prince’s Countryside Fund is open for grant applications until February 21st 2019. Grants of up to £25,000 are available to support community shop and pub projects in rural areas, or grants of up to £50,000 are available for projects that improve the prospects of viability for family farm businesses or support building resilience in rural areas.

The Prince’s Countryside Fund was established by HRH The Prince of Wales in 2010 and aims to enhance the prospects of family farm businesses and the quality of rural life. We believe that the British countryside is our most valuable natural asset and its contribution to our everyday life cannot be underestimated.

Click here for more information on the Ulva Ferry Housing Project Phase 2.

Green Light for Second Affordable Housing Project at Ulva Ferry

Green Light for Second Affordable Housing Project at Ulva Ferry

Mull and Iona Community Trust, working with Ulva School Community Association, has secured a grant of £156,865.51 from the Scottish Land Fund to realise a second affordable housing project at Ulva Ferry on the Isle of Mull.

MICT and USCA successfully delivered two affordable houses at Ulva Ferry in 2017, increasing the number of children in the area by 40% and working age adults by 10%, thus strengthening Ulva Primary School’s roll, and the overall sustainability of the community.  Despite this success, there is a continued need for affordable long-term rental housing in this remote area of Mull, which is essential for the continued sustainability of the community.  The Scottish Land Fund award will cover the majority of the cost of the purchase of a plot at Ulva Ferry, along with half of the staffing costs to appoint a project officer.

This project will deliver 4 more houses across two sites at Ulva Ferry, which will be offered as secure, long-term let, via an allocation process, and at an affordable rent.  Extensive feasibility work carried out over the winter months confirmed that there was a particular shortage of housing for working age couples and families, and local businesses were struggling to recruit and retain staff as a direct result.

USCA, and the wider Ulva Ferry community, will be at the heart of the project as it develops – having the opportunity to be involved in the whole decision process from the design of the houses to the allocation policy.  Funding towards the build costs will be sought from grant sources including the Rural Housing Fund, set up by the Scottish Government in 2016 to increase the supply of affordable housing of all tenures in rural Scotland.

MICT General Manager, Moray Finch, commented, ‘we are delighted to receive this grant from the Scottish Land Fund, which will enable us to deliver a second housing project for Ulva Ferry.  In such rural areas provision of affordable housing is key to securing wider social and economic benefits for the community as a whole’. 

USCA Convenor, Josh Liddle, added, ‘affordable housing remains the top priority at Ulva Ferry, and this project will ensure there will be more pupils in the school, more working age adults to boost local businesses and a stronger community overall – we can’t wait to start building again!’.

For more information, please contact Helen MacDonald, Housing Project Officer:


01680 812 900



The Scottish Land Fund reopened to applications in April 2016. The programme is funded by the Scottish Government and delivered in partnership by the Big Lottery Fund and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, both of which have extensive experience of helping communities to acquire and develop their assets for over a decade.   The SLF Committee was appointed following the normal procedures for public appointments.

The BIG Lottery Fund distributes lottery funding to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK. It also uses its expertise in grant-giving to distribute non-Lottery funding. Full details of the BIG Lottery Fund programmes and grant awards are available on the website:

BIG Lottery Fund Public Enquiries Line call: 0300 123 7110.

Mull and Iona Community Trust was formed in 1997 and is one of more than 200 Development Trusts across Scotland. MICT is involved in a wide variety of services and projects, ranging from a dementia singing group to a £1million hydro electric scheme.

Ulva School Community Association was formed in 2011 to give Ulva Ferry residents a say in the future plans for the area.  The Association grew out of the successful fight to save the local primary school from closure.  The USCA Committee now work with MICT to jointly deliver local development projects including community transport, a pontoon and shore facilities, and affordable housing.

5 Reasons to Shop in Island Castaways Charity Shops

If you have never experienced the delights of charity shop browsing, now is a great time to have a browse. Our three shops on the island are full of goodies from fantastic fashions to vintage treasures.

1. Great for the Environment

Why waste valuable resources when you can do your bit for the environment by reusing materials. We saved 42 tonnes of goods from going to landfill through charity shop sales last year.

2. Cheap and Cheerful

We are lucky to have a lot of generous donors on the island so we always have lots of good quality clothes at a fraction of clothing shop prices. It’s a great way to change your wardrobe at a price that won’t break the bank. We always have a great range of bric a brac, electrical goods, furniture and household items too!

3. Be Original

High street shops offer similar goods in every town across the country. Charity shops offer an eclectic mix of styles fashions and colours that allow the shopper an opportunity to express their own style. We also have lots of high fashion items.

4. Raise Awareness and Your Island

MESS (Mull and Iona Environmentally Sensitive Solutions) is a community initiative that provides local solutions to the waste and environmental issues that affect our communities, and brings economic as well as environmental benefits to Mull and Iona.

We aim to reduce, reuse, recycle as much as possible on the islands of Mull and Iona. Every year customers, donors and volunteers at Island Castaways help promote recycling on the islands and help provide thousands of pounds to community groups.

5. Range of Goods

It’s always worth popping in to see if we have what you are looking for in our shops. After quality checks, we aim to display a huge range of donated items, from long lost phone chargers to that piece of china that makes up grannies favourite set. If you don’t see it on the shelves just ask- we can check our storeroom or get in touch when we get one in.

The list of benefits is endless... but we hope this has spurred you on to try out a guilt-free shopping trip whilst supporting our recycling project, looking unique and feeling fab about it!