In 2010 an opportunity came up to address the concerns, increasingly voiced over a period of years, that changing land use and demographics, particularly at the upper end of both valleys, was leading to question marks over whether people would continue to live and work in these areas.
The loss of hill sheep farms to commercial forestry and game birds, high house prices, coupled with the loss of cottages to rent and the falling rolls of the local schools, were all identified as concerns.
Some long-standing services had been lost like the village post office and shop but services regarded as essential now to most of the population, such as reliable mobile phone coverage and broadband, were still not available.
It was recognised that without new families and people of working age staying in the valleys, life for everyone would be less secure in the short-term and possibly unsustainable in future. A number of actions were taken to address these issues and a Community Development Company was formed which allows us to hold property and raise funding to give us an on- going vehicle for some of the schemes identified that would help our valleys.
Michael, our Chairman is a lifelong resident of the Valleys, a landowner and an enthusiastic businessman. He hopes to assist in sustainable economic development and to help create a better future for all in the area. The Community Development Company has been set up to identify ways of improving the quality of life and he hopes to play his part in ensuring that this happens.
A retired architect, Jeremy has lived in Yarrowford and Broadmeadows for over 30 years. He has been both Secretary and Chairman of the Community Council and has also been a member of the Steering Group of the Revitalising the Valleys Project, the forerunner of the Community Development Company (CDC). As a member of that Group, he was closely involved with the Community Development Plan and setting up the CDC. He has been a Director of the CDC since its establishment and presently acts as its Treasurer.
Lynne is a long-term resident of the valleys with her children and grandchildren living and working in the area. She runs a thriving business and is committed to ensuring that a sustainable future is secured for future generations. The Community Development Company has a vital role to play and she is keen to contribute to its success in whatever ways she can.
George has lived in the Ettrick Valley for over 30 years and believes he understands the needs and aspirations of the Ettrick valley and its community to which he is committed. Presently Chair of Kirkhope Parish Hall, he is committed to trying to ensure that we attempt to leave a lasting legacy for the future.
Business-wise, though retired, he is a partner in a successful small business and in the past has held a directorship in a major company.
Marjorie has lived in Ettrick valley since 1990 and has been actively involved in the community. She has worked for over 33 years as a Community Learning and Development worker with Scottish Borders Council in a range of roles including youth work, adult learning and community development. She was involved in supporting the early stages of the Development Company as a member of the Steering Group from 2011 -13. Her various roles have all involved a considerable amount of work with the Third Sector and a range of community groups and organisations. She is a member of the Development Company and has been interested in its aims and activity since it began.
Originally born and educated in Edinburgh Andy's career has been in Business, working for various blue chip companies across the UK holding roles in Purchasing and Supply Chain, Marketing and Corporate Strategy. He has lived in the Borders for over 20 years. His wife runs the successful borders-based ‘Fiona Henderson School of Dance’. They are both members of Ettrick & Yarrow Church where he Andy leads the music. They both love living in the Valleys and are determined to do their bit to support the local community and playing their part in helping this area develop and prosper into the future.
I have had a DUAL career working in Primary Education originally at George Heriot's School in Edinburgh. Later, an interest in media led to a post as Development/Media Officer for Scottish Conservation Projects now part of BTCV again.
For two years one of the highlights of my working career was involvement with the Trust as they carried out drystane dyking, pond management and restoration of old buildings on Canna. I was responsible for the fostering of 83 Local Conservation Groups across Scotland, the organisation of the yearly conference and some 43,000 miles of travelling feeding interesting stories and photographs to the Scottish media, broadsheets and Radio Scotland News.
I was also trained way back by Professor Donal MacKay at Keele University in the role of selling advertising to pay for the income needed to produce publications.
I had a spell for three years presenting my roots Scottish Music Programme on Heartland FM in Pitlochry and more recently on East Coast FM had the pleasure of interviewing live from Melbourne in Australia, Judith Durham of The legendary Seekers- 60 years on and still performing.
I’ve been fortunate to stay in this beautiful area since 2013 and enjoyed being part of the friendly community. Working here has helped me appreciate the challenges of making a living from the land. The Ettrick & Yarrow Community Development Company has impressed me with the diversity and sustainability of their community development projects. I'm volunteering with this and other local groups to help give something back to the community.
I live on a farm in the Upper Yarrow Valley having moved here in 2014. I am very much involved in the family farm and local community, being secretary of the Yarrow and Ettrick Pastoral Society, responsible for arranging Yarrow Show and other events.
My children attended Yarrow Primary, of which I was Parent Council Chair, and Selkirk High School. The eldest is now at University. I currently work for the Scottish Government in the rural/agricultural sector, having previously been a serving Police officer for over 20 years.
During this time I gained invaluable experience working with people from all walks of life.
Having lived in the countryside all of my life I recognise the importance of sustainable rural communities and look forward to working with EYCDC in supporting this.
I have served as a non-executive director on the board of three public companies, including Border TV and have long admired the work being done by the Ettrick & Yarrow Community Development Company and wished to support it by joining the board.
I have lived in the Ettrick Valley since 1966 and my main contribution has been the restoration of Aikwood Tower, now owned and run as a successful letting and wedding venue by my son and his wife.
We have retired to Selkirk but still look across the valley and remain members of Kirkhope Church, and attend the hall coffee mornings.
Vicky grew up on a hill sheep farm in Ettrick and both her brothers still farm in the valley. She previously worked in event management then as a BBC radio producer before moving back to the valley in 2001 with her daughter. She represented the area on Scottish Borders Council from 2003 -2017 where she was the lead councillor for Economic Development from 2007 and for Culture, Sport and Community Development from 2012. She is passionate about rural development and finding sustainable ways for people to continue living and working in this historic and magical area. She was a founding member of EYCDC.
We always welcome new members to become part of EYCDC - if you're intereted in joining us please get in touch.