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New SMO environmental initiative to be launched at the Skye Swing Jazz Festival

A new environmental scheme for Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, ‘Lioft’, will be launched this Friday (1 November) at the Skye Swing Jazz Festival. The new initiative aims to encourage people to travel together in the same car when they attend an arts event at the College, in order to reduce carbon emissions created by travel to and from SMO.

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig has been awarded £4,500 through the Make:IT:Happen fund which is part of AmbITion Scotland, a programme funded by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland. The new car-share project will contribute to Sabhal Mòr Ostaig’s Carbon Management Plan, 2011-15, which aims to reduce the College’s carbon emissions by 20% by 2015.

The new scheme will help with one of the three key areas targeted by the College’s Carbon Management Plan, to reduce indirect emissions, in this case emissions caused by events hosted at SMO. ‘Lioft’ will help with this by helping people to travel together to and from arts events at the College. On average more than 8,000 people visit the college through various events each year, with the arts chief among them. 

The scheme is being implemented in partnership with SEALL, the arts promoter who have been organising arts events in south Skye since 1990.

Chris Mitchell from the bilingual creative agency, Cànan, who are based at the college submitted the application to the fund on behalf of the College. Chris said: “We’re really interested to see how this initiative works practically here in South Skye, AmbITionScotland have been great, they’ve put us in touch with environmental experts and helped us to formulate a plan. Now it’s up to us at SMO to try to increase the number of shared journeys to and from the campus.”

Dòmhnall Angaidh MacLennan, Head of Estates and Services at SMO, said: “This initiative will be at the heart of the College’s effort to encourage greater car sharing as part of the activity set out in the Carbon Management Plan. We know that Seall events are well attended by both students and staff throughout the year and we’re located in a rural area where existing public transport options aren’t always available for every journey. This has resulted in the majority of us having an over reliance on using the car. We will be working with Chris and the project team to identify how the results of the project might be extended to bring about a positive impact on the travel choices of all the College’s users.”

‘Lioft’ will be launched at the Stu Brown Sextet concert which will take place as part of the Jazz Festival at 7.30pm at Sabhal Mòr on 1 November. Research will be undertaken initially to give a picture of how people currently travel to arts events at the college and to assess the opportunities there for people to travel together. An awareness raising campaign will be run to let people know about the scheme, for more information visit

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