Issue 206
Winter 2018/19


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Feb 24, 2019

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ArtWork Newspaper Issue 206
Winter 2018/19 (6.5MB)

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**Cold Blast from the north. The world's first link column?

Right! So here we go. A new type of on line column for Artwork! And possibly the world! A link column, in which various issues are not only written about but illustrated by various links to the internet.

FIRST ULVA, the Hebridean island which has recently been bought by the Scottish Government to be run by the locals on nearbye Mull at a cost of a whopping £4.4 million.

Two links here to illustrate both sides of the story. The first by the former owner of the island who has pasted a summary of all the newspaper stories about the sale, pointing out that whatever the validity of the buy-out ( and my own emotional instinct is on the side of the buyout) the way it was handled by the government was like something out of a banana republic http://www.isleofulva.com/news-archive [1]. and then we have the response web site in the business plan of the buy out http://nwmullwoodland.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/ULVA-BUSINESS-PLAN_.pdf

I am impressed with much of this business plan but correct me if I'm wrong there seems to be no indication of the servicing of the £4 million plus owed to the common purse. Are such debts just written off? Many of the proposals rely on grants and am pleased to note that the plan suggests that little money can be raised from agriculture. I am also amused to note that the job of island administrator, which is budgeted as getting government grants of around £100,000 (over five years ) is being offered to people who may not necessarily live on the island. So a resident laird may be replaced by an absentee faux land lord.

The core issue here is that all remote communities are going to need subsidies and can we afford not including milking the rich in the overall strategies of achieving those ends? Personally I would be happy to see the place being turned into an educational resource for an internet connected global market, now THAT would be worth the cash.

SECONDLY congratulations to Hugh Andrew who organised the first Tobermory Book Festival which sold over 500 tickets. ( And in which I was involved in a small way ) An amazing collection of authors turned up including Alexander Macall-Smith, Adam Nicholson, David Ross ( whose book on 29 years as the Herald's Highland reporter was my favourite ) Hugh Cheape, Polly Pullar and Ray Periman. Details of their books on the TBF site.

ALSO AT TOB was the extraordinary Angus Macdonald of Roshven whilst his book Ardnish Was Home [3] was perhaps not the best written at the show you have to hand it to him that his investment in projects such as the new bookshop in Fort William and a myriad of other start ups in the highlands has to be acknowledged. I note that in the BP for Ulva it is suggested that the Big Hoose might merely be "let out to a business" and that on Eigg, Ghia and Knoydart the Big hoooses have been similarly downgraded. In contrast when you see the impact that Angus has had on the village of Glen Uig through spending £7 million on the adjacent Roshven House you do wonder.

On Canna the hostel that was built from the common purse at the cost of a million and opened by HRH Princess Anne has been abandoned without hosting a single guest, on Rum the new hostel has cost nearly a million. It's depressing the way that anything involving the public purse seems to end up as a money pit.

FINALLY, no marks to Edinburgh City Council for two terrible decisions. The first was to throw out several dozen crafts people from the Old Town's Tron Church and replacing them with a single shop keeper who is selling mostly mock antiques. Whilst the market had it's bad side it was at least authentic and had a bit of a buzz about it. Now the city is looking for £14 million to upgrade the building and with their expulsions, and the hideously written World Heritage Site exhibition they have got off to a bad start.

They should equally be criticised for their decision to cut down over fifty mature trees in Princes street gardens. Their excuse that they needed to provide space for the new art galleries is manifestly an exaggeration, and they should be held to account. The Gardens

** Omitted from the printed paper for lack of space

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