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Consultations are beginning this week with council tenant to find out if they want a new landlord. The government no longer thinks it right for local councils to run council housing, thus these houses may be transferred to a locally-based agency.
North Ayrshire Council has been awarded £2.25million which will be used to set up a survey of housing needs and stock, a housing agency and to build about 50 new houses in a variety of locations on Arran.
There are about 120 council houses on Arran and a further 130 owned by Kirkcare, giving a total of about 250 social rented houses on Arran. For the new houses, North Ayrshire will combine with Scottish Homes and make up a report on this. They plan to identify places where they can build and the areas of need to see if they can be married up.
With the 11th Arran Folk Festival taking place next week, one group at the Lamlash concert will feature local talent. Nothing too unusual in that but, in this case, Gillian Frame has grown up on Arran, left to study and now returns bringing her own ensemble.
They are Demlinn- a Shetland word meaning standing alone – and all four come from RSAMD and are studying for a new degree of a BA in Scottish music. Everyone must take two instruments from which voice can be one. Gillian has chosen Gaelic singing and fiddle, with which she is very experienced and has played many times around the island. Now she comes with her own group and this will be their first public performance.
Harold Currie, responsible for founding the Isle of Arran Distillers has retired as chairman and moved into a new role as president. Mr Currie is to be replaced by Andrew Kettles who will become executive chairman.
Based in Fife, Mr Kettles will visit regularly. He has a distinguished background in the spirits industry, having previously been finance director and managing director of Matthew Gloag Ltd, and latterly responsible for sales, marketing and distribution for Gloag’s parent company Highland Distillers.