In 1998, after one hundred and forty-six years of continuous manned service, the North Ronaldsay lighthouse was automated. This resulted in the lighthouse keeper cottages and associated buildings becoming empty and subject to deterioration. The North Ronaldsay Trust was established in response to these events. Its aims were to secure the vacant lighthouse buildings for community use and to investigate opportunities for job creation through the utilisation of these buildings.
The North Ronaldsay Trust (NRT) was formed in 2000, and was one of the first of its kind in Orkney. As a Registered Scottish Charity, the NRT has a Board of Trustees, and its Directors are bound to comply with the provisions of the Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator, of the Charities Act (2005), and of the Companies Act (2006).
The North Ronaldsay Trust works to preserve the heritage and historical interest of North Ronaldsay for the benefit of the Island's community and the public at large. The NRT strives to conserve the natural heritage, including the flora and fauna, the geological, physiographical and archaeological features and the natural beauty of the island. Central to this effort is the protection and conservation of the Island’s unique breed of seaweed-eating sheep.
The NRT also works to promote industry and commerce on the Island for the benefit of the general public including agriculture, silviculture, arts, and crafts.In order to further North Ronaldsay as a place where individuals can make a life for themselves, the NRT endeavours to promote the provision of housing on the island for people in necessitous circumstances. This effort includes funding and construction of new housing as well as the renovation of derelict and existing properties.
Finally, the North Ronaldsay Trust strives to relieve poverty, provide help for the aged, handicapped, and infirm, advance education and in particular promote opportunities for education for the benefit of the general public.
Six Directors of the North Ronaldsay Trust are elected for two-year terms by the 167-person membership of the Trust. The Board is augmented by three Directors who represent the North Ronaldsay Estate, the North Ronaldsay Community Association, and the North Ronaldsay Community Council.
Since the Trust was inaugurated in September 2000 over £1 million has been raised through grants, gifts, private fund raising and through the Friends of the Trust to advance the following Projects:
For such a young charity, the North Ronaldsay Trust has, in a short time, assumed the ownership and maintenance of the following assets:
While much has been accomplished since the inception of the North Ronaldsay Trust, we now look forward to the following future projects and challenges:
Our first fifteen years as an organisation have been marked by many achievements and success stories, but the future of North Ronaldsay will depend upon work that is yet to be done. Please consider becoming a partner in this effort and donate to one of the many exciting projects that the North Ronaldsay Trust is leading. Click here to contribute your support.