20 Mar CIC approved, Site Searching, Brochure and PPS 21 Review
An Artists Impression of CC
Happy Spring Equinox! Here is the latest CC news…
Cauldron Community Interest Company NI636983
The big news for this (belated) blog is that we have been formally made a not-for-profit Community Interest Company and we even have a special number to prove it: NI636983! We managed to get what we think is a very robust and ethically sound legal constitution completed thanks to the work of our wonderful legal adviser Phil Nicholls of the South Belfast Social Enterprise Hub. This means we can now set up our bank account with Triodos and will help greatly in securing the essential grant funding we need. Woo hoo!
A Possible Private Site?
In other news we are currently looking into the option of buying a 110 acres site that has came on the market in West Fermanagh but we do need more private investment to come our way to actualise this, as well as of course outline planning and we hope to meet with Fermanagh Council and Planners in the near future. Anyone with capital interested in setting up Northern Ireland first Eco Village? Get in touch!
PR and Advertising the Project!
We are to this end in the process of completing a promotional brochure for which we are seeking ethical sponsorship and we have commissioned an Artists Impression of the Cauldron Community to give a visual representation of our vision. We have taken out an ad in Permaculture Magazine for April (to help attract investors and aspiring residents). We are also now members of Social Enterprise NI which helps promote the cause of people working towards business projects that enrich local communities. We have been added to the Fellowship for Intentional Community Website and up and coming print publication, which should help significantly raise our international profile. We also are seeking someone to share a stand with at the Sustainable Village at the Balmoral show-any takers out there?
We have followed up with Senior Planner Geoff Sloan ref the review of PPS 21 to include “Low Impact Development” as a clause. He has moved departments within the Civil Service but has “reminded Susan Wilkin and Philip Magowan that this consideration should be taken forward in the review” which is great news as this will really help with the critical area of local council planning permission. This review is due Spring 2016-so watch this space!
National Trust Meeting
We held a very cordial meeting with Billy Reid (Assistant Director) of National Trust for NI and Ian McCurley (Consultancy Manager, Natural Conservation and Heritage) in January. We had hoped that they may be able to provide a site for us and they were very keen on the Eco Village concept and open to helping and facilitating. The only real site however currently in their portfolio which they reckon may have fitted for our needs is Island Taggart. However on consideration of the logistics of access and the fast running of the water, even aside from any planning challenges, we really felt it was impractical as a target site. However, the NT team have promised to keep an eye and ear out for any potential sites privately or that come into their portfolio.
Still no word back from Lafarge ref their site at Maghernamorne. However, on visiting the location, it is far from ideal for our purposes due to lack of soil quality (its spoil from the quarry) but it remains a possible option and we will watch for developments on this with the generous support of Mid and East Antrim Council.
UNLTD Loan and Grant Options
We have met with a representative from UNLTD and they are open to offering us a Social Enterprise loan which might aid land purchase and site development. We have also applied to them for a setup grant.
The Website has been updated with new sections being added and developed-how exciting!!!
The Historic Moment of Signing CIC Constitution 🙂