Highland Regional Manager Drew McFarlane-Slack and Paul Nicoll, Board Director at Bell Ingram http://www.bellingram.co.uk/ were joined by H&I MSP Mike Mackenzie on a visit to Mull on Monday 17th October. We were accompanied by Bell Ingram Oban office’s latest recruit, Hugh Nicol, lately of Guernsey but originally a Campbelltown lad who learned his trade with MK Macleod of Lochgilphead http://www.mkmacleod.co.uk/ Argyll’s premier housebuilder.
Our first call was to the impressive newly rebuilt Mull Slaughterhouse http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01hz7pq where we met Fergus Younger (SAC) of Argyll Agricultural Forum together with Esplin Chapman and Greg March who manage and operate the community owned abbatoir. Mike learned of the wider value the facility brings to the local agricultural and sporting community on Mull, Muck, Coll, Morvern and the North Lorn catchment, with Beef, Lamb, Pork and Venison all being catered for. Esplin also helps run Tobermory’s Western Isles Hotel http://www.westernisleshotel.co.uk/ where these local meats are a big draw for their clients. Mike MacKenzie suggested these local products could be showcased at a Holyrood evening event and SL&E have offered to assist in arranging dates.
The Slaughterhouse company was previously chaired by Tom Nelson of Glengorm Castle http://www.glengormcastle.co.uk/ , who remains a big champion for the enterprise. We broke for lunch at his restaurant in the beautifully restored steadings and Tom explained the need for local and national government to help maintain and encourage local small abbatoirs as one of the key tools to support livestock, tourism and jobs on Scotland’s islands.
Thereafter we drove across the island to Ulva Ferry School where we discussed a number of topics including the Land Reform Review, Agricultural Tenancies, Housing and local development opportunities.