Project: Rinns of Islay community deer larder feasibility study
Community group: Rinns deer forum
Location: Rinns of Islay
Region: Islay, Jura and Colonsay

Project summary

ACT Hubs commissioned a feasibility study for setting up a community run deer larder and processing facility on the Rinns of Islay. 

Project details

The Rinns of Islay deer forum have discussed the possibility of setting up a community run deer larder and processing facility to facilitate increased deer culls. This could benefit herd health, habitat quality and the availability of local venison to residents and visitors, either by buying direct or supplying to local shops and restaurants. The financial, practical and licencing implications for this kind of community venture were unknown to the group, so ACT Hubs helped to provide some useful information. 

Support from ACT Hubs

We commissioned a study to investigate the feasibility of developing and managing a deer larder facility within the community on the Rinns of Islay. The contract for the desk-based study was won by Duncan MacPherson and Faye MacLeod. The study produced a written report to present to community groups and stakeholders which included an outline of the economic viability of a community owned deer larder with consideration to annual running costs, maintenance costs and potential income; options for models of community ownership; recommendations for identifying a suitable location; recommended storage capacity; environmental, licensing and health and safety considerations, and potential markets for venison products. The study presented estimated costs for four scenarios of storing and processing carcasses. The contractors also presented alternative options for using existing facilities and initiated discussions with a local estate and the local butcher. 

The report has been presented to the Rinns deer forum so that they can use the information to consider further developments.