The Staffin community is being asked to name a new housing, health and economic development - with the deadline for entries extended for another 10 days.

Work on the community-led project at Stenscholl started in August and tenants will move into the six affordable houses, health centre and two business units in 2021. The contractor is James MacQueen Builders.

Staffin Community Trust (SCT) and its partners, the Communities Housing Trust (CHT) and Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association (LSHA), are seeking suggestions for the site’s name, which will be in Gaelic.

The site lies next to the Kilmartin River, near Sgoil Stafainn, and looks onto the Trotternish Ridge, including Beinn Edra.

SCT is looking for a name which is relevant to the development area. Extensive peat cutting would have been carried out at the site in the past and Blàr na Mònadh may have been a name used. The area slightly south of the site was known as An Leacainn and the nearby river pools were Linne a Chaisteil, in reference to the fishing weir, and Linne a Chaibeil, owing to its location near the graveyard.

Several suggestions have been made to SCT and more are warmly welcomed.

The previous deadline for entries was Tuesday, December 1. That has now been extended until Friday, December 11.

Stenscholl's two Iain MacDonalds and John Angus Gate of James MacQueens at the site with West Highland Free Press photographer Willie Urquhart.

Prizes will be awarded for the best three suggestions and the final decision on the name will be taken by a group of older Staffin residents. The preferred name will then be submitted to Highland Council’s corporate gazetteer service for its approval.

The last affordable housing development built in Staffin more than 20 years ago was on the site of the former school and named Ceàrn Roghail.

SCT formed a partnership with the CHS and LSHA six years ago to develop the long-awaited project in a bid to provide housing for families and young people priced out of the property market, and increase the school roll. The intention is to lease the health centre to NHS Highland and the commercial units to local businesses.

SCT’s project funders include LEADER, the Rural Housing Fund, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the SSE Sustainable Development Fund and the Quaker Housing Trust. A crowdfunding campaign raised more than £7,0000, with the acclaimed Gaelic singer Alasdair Gillies personally donating £3,000. SCT was also grateful for a short-term guarantor loan from Highland Council which allowed the contractor to be appointed earlier this year.

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