dbdc9d54-47eb-4393-8b92-d5693d635495Sketch by Mark Jardine, Iona

We are absolutely thrilled to finally announce the contractors’ imminent start at Iona Village Hall.  CorraMore Construction arrived on-island last week to begin setting up the site, ahead of official start on Monday 22nd July.  The work is anticipated to take 12 months, with completion due in early August 2020.

CorraMore were appointed to the project following a rigorous tender process through Public Contracts Scotland.  They join WT Architecture, Morham & Brotchie Partnership, David Narro Associates and Max Fordham to complete our Project Team.  We are tremendously grateful to all contractors who submitted tenders, particularly as they patiently awaited the outcome after a delay in the process.

There will be a community drop-in over the coming weeks to introduce you to the CorraMore team, and to learn more about the programme and how the site will work throughout construction.  We will also be setting up meetings with immediate neighbours and other key parties.

Generous, extensive support from funders and donors has secured enough funds to take this enormous leap and start construction of the new village hall.  We will continue to fundraise throughout 2019 to secure the remaining £100,000 for equipment, furniture and blackout blinds.

THANK YOU for all of your support, both in getting to this momentous stage and as we undertake the next 12 busy and challenging months!

Tiny Island Takes on Marathon

Iona Primary School running club took on a combined marathon on Monday 25th June. A unique achievement on an island only 3.5 miles long by 1.5 miles wide and which only has 3 miles of road.

Eleven children ranging in ages from P4-7 shared out the mileage to achieve their goal with the P7s, in their last week of island schooling before leaving for secondary on the mainland, taking on a slightly greater distance.

Ula Gordon, one of the P5 runners said, “I was really glad everyone turned up as some people were off school ill last week and the rest of us would have had to run much, much further ”.

It was a glorious day and the route was stunning – starting and finishing at the pier and taking in the Nunnery and Abbey as it headed towards the turning points at the North End with views all the way up to Skye.

As the sun beat down at the start line, Cameron MacInnes a P7 runner said, “We’ve run in all sorts of extreme weather, it’s often blowing a gale, but we’ve not run in this kind of heat before”.

A crowd of well wishers gathered at the pier and gave the children a great send off as they headed out in staggered intervals to some raucous fiddle music. Ian Lain, a Canadian tourist, said, “This is special, we feel so blessed we came over to Iona today and caught all this, what a great effort from these kids”.

The runners enjoyed tremendous support throughout with tourists and locals cheering them on and waving banners. A group of volunteers working at the Abbey worked on a cheer leading routine which they perfected by the home leg.

Another P5 child was heard to say after crossing the finish line “That was brilliant! Can we do it again at running club next week?” .

The children decided to run the marathon to raise money for the new Village Hall project. Running Club coach Anja Jardine said, “It seemed a very natural suggestion from these children who’ve grown up on this small island where the idea of working together and community is ingrained.
The hall, along with everything else it provides, is their only option for any type of indoor sports and although they’re hardy, there’s a definite need out here for a safe and sound indoor space to keep them active all year round”.

The islanders are in the middle of a fundraising campaign to build a brand new village hall. The project focusses on replacing the 90 year old Village Hall with a fit-for-purpose, multi-use building to the meet the wider needs of the island community, as the island bucks the trend with a growing population.

It will cost just under £2.2m and is hoped for completion by Summer 2020. The island needs to raise the remaining £1.2m by December 2018.Extra info:

Having heard rumours of illness among the Iona running team, children from Tiree Primary School offered to step in and make up the mileage. On the day, their mileage wasn’t required, but they chose to run in solidarity with the Iona children anyway.

Great News from the BIG Lottery Fund

School children on Iona are delighted to learn that plans for a new village hall are one step closer thanks to a grant of £903,888 from the BIG Lottery Fund.

Islanders are jumping for joy at the news that Iona Village Hall Community Trust have received a National Lottery award from the BIG Lottery Fund of £903,888 towards their new village hall project.

The project focuses on replacing the 90-year-old Village Hall with a fit-for-purpose, multi-use building to meet the wider needs of the island community, as the island bucks the trend with a growing population. It will cost just under £2.2m and hope for completion by Summer 2020.

The trustees, with the support of WT Architecture and Community Enterprise, have worked with islanders, visitors, community groups and local businesses, to develop a business plan and careful designs for the new community building. Community buyout of neighbouring land from the National Trust for Scotland should be completed in the coming weeks and is critical to the project.

As the community looks towards launching its fundraising campaign for the remaining funds, Chair Anja Jardine explained the importance of the project: “We cannot overstate the importance of having a fit-for-purpose village hall on the island.  Iona Village Hall is the place where our children grow up; have birthday parties, perform their school plays, celebrate their sporting achievements, dance, and get married. It forms the backdrop to the collective memory of our community and many of our visitors. It is our debating chamber, our cinema, our stadium, our playground, and our gathering place. We need to be more than just a village hall – we have a vision of a hall which not only belongs TO the community of Iona, but is somewhere where people can feel THEY belong, whether they are islanders, seasonal workers or visitors.”

Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, Maureen McGinn, said: “I am delighted that Iona Village Hall Community Trust has been successful in securing a Big Lottery Fund grant. The funding will make a big difference where it is needed most and I wish the Trust every success as it goes on to develop and expand its project for the benefit of their local community.”

The island needs to raise the remaining £1.2m by December 2018.

Click here to find out how you can help.

Film Nights – January-March 2018

The following Film Nights @ Iona Village Hall are free but we accept donations towards the running of the film nights and the upkeep of the hall. Thank you!

Friday, 10th November 2017:  8.30 pm:
A 2016 American biographical drama film directed by Theodore Melfi and written by Melfi and Allison Schroeder, based on the non-fiction book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly about black female mathematicians who worked at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) during the Space Race.

LION (PG-13)
Wednesday 31st January, 8.30 pm
Five year old Saroo gets lost on a train which takes him thousands of miles across India, away from home and family. Saroo must learn to survive alone in Kolkata, before ultimately being adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty-five years later, armed with only a handful of memories, his unwavering determination, and a revolutionary technology known as Google Earth, he sets out to find his lost family and finally return to his first home.

Friday 23rd February, 8.30 pm
Pakistan-born comedian Kumail Nanjiani and grad student Emily Gardner fall in love but struggle as their cultures clash. When Emily contracts a mysterious illness, Kumail finds himself forced to face her feisty parents, his family’s expectations, and his true feelings.

Friday 9th March, 7.30pm (to include younger audience)
2017 version of a classic. When a murder occurs on the train he’s travelling on, celebrated detective Hercule Poirot is recruited to solve the case.

Friday 23rd March, 8.30 pm
Set over one summer, the film follows precocious six-year-old Moonee as she courts mischief and adventure with her ragtag playmates and bonds with her rebellious but caring mother, all while living in the shadows of Disney World.

We deliberately select films with wide appeal and which can be enjoyed as a group, but we know that there is huge scope for diversity and entertainment. Should you have a particular film or genre that you think would work, we would love to help you ‘host’ – let us know if you are interested!

(Please Note: all films, dates and times are subject to change at short notice)

Community Consultation March 2017

Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 16.05.33

Plans for a new Village Hall for Iona are progressing well and the outlook is getting increasingly exciting!

Following on from our recent Big Lottery award, Iona Village Hall Committee, together with partners Community Enterprise and WT Architecture, will be holding another community consultation on the 23rd & of 24th March 2017.

Now is your chance to review the preferred design (which was drawn back in 2012-14), imagine yourself in the space, consider whether needs have changed, ask whether anything has been missed out and submit your comments and suggestions ahead of a planning application. It’s unlikely that further consultation will take place at a later date so, it’s really vital that we get as much input from Iona residents and users of the hall as possible.

Open Meeting

There will be an informal, open meeting on Thursday 23rd at 7.30pm in the Hall. Refreshments will be provided, we don’t expect it to be ‘hard work’ for anyone and we hope to be finished by around 9 o’clock.

The plans, as they stand, will be on display in the NTS Shelter prior to this and a summary of these is also included below.

Stakeholder interviews

One-to-one interviews with representatives of groups who use the hall on a regular basis will be held on the afternoon of Thursday the 23rd and morning of Friday the 24th. Most have already been contacted but, if you haven’t and would like a meeting, please contact a member of the Hall Committee.

Outline of Plans

An Talla Baile – Shaping the Heart of Iona

Option B View 2Iona Village Hall Committee is delighted to announce that the Big Lottery Fund has awarded the ‘An Talla Baile’ project development funding of £33,996.

Building momentum since 2012, the community building project focusses on redeveloping Iona Village Hall, to meet the wider needs of a growing island community.

The committee has worked with the local community, supported by Community Enterprise and design team WT Architecture, to develop a business plan and a designs for a new-build hall.

A big step forward towards the realisation of this project, the development funding from the Big Lottery Fund will be used to cover the costs of fees to develop the designs and strategic plan and a part time project worker for 16 weeks. Shiona Ruhemann, chair of the Iona Community Council says: “We are delighted that the Village Hall committee has secured Big Lottery Fund funding for this crucial stage in building a more modern and adaptable Village Hall on Iona. The Hall is such a vital, dynamic engine of our community life today, and of the cohesive, inclusive island community we want to see thriving in the future. It delivers an extraordinarily busy, diverse and imaginative programme throughout the year, serving and bringing together visitors and islanders of all ages and interests. We are really grateful to our committed and productive Village Hall committee, and very excited about the ways in which this project will support and enrich our community going forward. ”

Iona Village Hall committee would like to thank the Big Lottery Fund, the project partners and the local community for their ongoing support and enthusiasm.

Spring 2017 will see another round of local consultation events and public meetings to communicate, discuss and progress the plans to bring ‘An Talla Baile’ to fruition.

For any news and updates visit or find us on Facebook (



“An Talla Baile – Shaping the Heart of Iona” is a community building project founded identified need in the island community which has a year-round population of around 150. It is focused on the development of the only community-managed asset – the 90-year-old village hall – to address grass roots need in a strategic and sustainable way. At the heart of the project is a vision to be more than just a ‘village hall’ but to meet the wider needs of the community in a sustainable way which contributes socially, economically and with less environmental impact. Iona Village Hall Committee consists of 10 local volunteers.

Community Enterprise have over 25 years experience of working with voluntary groups to build capacity and confidence within communities to deliver community-led developments.

WT Architecture are an award-winning team with experience projects on Hebridean islands; particularly the challenges that this can present. They have fantastic experience of working on public spaces and buildings and are currently working on a very similar project on Skye.

The Big Lottery Fund supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities across the UK. We are responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by the National Lottery and invest over £650 million a year in projects big and small in health, education, environment and charitable purposes.

The Big Lottery Fund Scotland is focussed on helping people and communities most in need throughout Scotland through its five-year £250m funding scheme as well as small grants schemes Awards for All and Investing in Ideas.

Welcome to Iona Village Hall!

Thanks for visiting the Iona Village Hall website. This page will often feature our latest news (below), but to get the fastest updates, please follow us on FacebookTwitter and/or Instagram. The rest of the site is broken into sections which will help you find out about the hall, its facilities, our plans and how to book.

Help us build a new Hall

In January 2018 we received news that our application for funding from the BIG Lottery Fund was successful. We’ve now launched a JustGiving campaign and aim to raise a further £1.2million by the end of 2018. Please click here to find out more.