Massive impacts in tiny Tiree

Credit: Tiree community development trust

Credit: Tiree community development trust

Like many of Scotland’s beautiful small islands, Tiree faces challenges. One of their solutions? Tilley the wind turbine.

Hardware 900kW Wind turbine

Benefits Endless! Tumble tots, lunch clubs, school trips, broadband upgrades, business coaching and so much more.  

Location Tiree, Inner Hebrides

tireetrust.org.uk

In 2006, the Tiree Community Development Trust were looking for innovative ways to bring some much needed income into their small community of just under 700 people. Known as the “sunshine island” or (perhaps more ambitiously) “Scotland’s chilly St Tropez”, Tiree also isn’t short of a spot of wind. In fact it’s the windiest place in Britain.

The trust decided to invest in a 900kWp wind turbine. Well, it would have been rude not to.

Nine years later, “Tilley” is fully part of the fabric of the island and the resultant “Windfall fund” has touched pretty much every part of island life - community sailing programmes to business start up grants, beaver scouts to broadbrand upgrades, music festivals to a sheep shearing course.

"We are an incredibly resilient community, living on an island we have to be, but with more cuts to public services on the way at local and national level it is more important now than ever that we have the capacity to deliver services and projects that make a difference to our community. Tilley gives us the confidence and the power to make positive change here on Tiree."

Andy Wright, Finance & Governance Manager

Tilley herself pre-dates the Feed-in Tariff, but tales of her success - and the huge support for her in the community - have inspired many other Scottish islands and rural towns to follow in their footsteps. With the tides turning on renewable energy, the chance for these communities to make an asset of their plentiful resources may be disappearing.

Photo credit: Tiree community development trust