Boost for community projects in Argyll and Bute from Scottish Land Fund
Three community ownership projects share £475,740
Land surrounding a community-owned pontoon at Ulva Ferry on Mull; an old sawmill and boathouse near Tobermory, also on Mull, and a former primary school on the Isle of Kerrera are all set to be transformed as part of the latest round of grants totalling £770,255 from the Scottish Land Fund.
Mull and Iona Community Trust (MICT) receives £257,266 to purchase land adjacent to the community-owned pontoon at Ulva Ferry in order to develop a Shore Facilities building, which will provide a social meeting space for the community and facilities for visitors. It will have bunk rooms, office rental space, showers, toilets, laundry, a car park and camper van hook-ups.
Tobermory Harbour Association (THA) receives £99,307 to purchase the waterfront site, pier and buildings at Aros Park as the first step towards regenerating the area and providing facilities for visitors and the local community.
Isle of Kerrera Development Trust receives £119,167 to convert the former Kerrera School into a community hub for locals and visitors.
Moray Finch, General Manager, Mull and Iona Community Trust, said: “This latest award from the Scottish Land Fund will help us to complete the Ulva Ferry Pontoon development, which was originally conceived after community consultations in 2011 and 2012. We are convinced the Shore Facilities Building will contribute further to economic development and regeneration of the area and, as such, it is a vital part of our work to help support the local community in Ulva Ferry.”
Steve Littlewood, Stakeholder Director, Tobermory Harbour Association, said: “Tobermory Harbour Association is grateful to the Scottish Land Fund for the award, which will enable the community to own and regenerate one of Tobermory’s best loved areas. This will remove any threat of inappropriate private development and opens up an exciting future for a beautiful and historically important area of seafront that had fallen into serious decline. Following the purchase the THA will consult widely on plans that we hope will see the area restored as a significant asset for the community and visitors alike.”
Martin Shields, Chair of the Isle of Kerrera Development Trust, said: “We are absolutely over the moon. Taking the school into community ownership is a genuine game changer for our small island community and will provide us with a place to gather for the first time in living memory. We can’t wait to get started on the renovations so we can start using the building as soon as possible.”
The Argyll Bute projects are amongst seven across Scotland to benefit from the latest round of cash made available from the Scottish Land Fund for the purchase of land and building assets.
Minister, Cabinet Secretary for Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham, speaking during a visit to the Isle of Kerrera project, said of today’s grants:“I would like to extend my congratulations to the successful projects. Today’s funding award will allow them to act on ambitious plans to give potentially under-utilised buildings and land a better use, to the current and future benefit of their local communities.”
John Watt, Scottish Land Fund Committee Chair, said: “Through repurposing vacant buildings, acquiring land in order to build new facilities and enhancing the local environment, groups from the Highlands to the Scottish Borders are using the Scottish Land Fund to realise impressive plans for land and other community assets. Projects like these make a big impact and not just on their local communities, they also provide inspiration to other groups who are still in the early stages of drawing up plans.”
Sandra Holmes, Head of Community Assets at HIE, said:“These seven groups are working really hard to make their community ambitions a reality and it’s great that they have secured SLF funding to help achieve this. The awards will bring important land, buildings and services into community ownership and give them the resources and control they need to deliver exciting projects for the benefit of people living and visiting their areas. We wish them all the very best in their new ventures.”
Other projects receiving Scottish Land Fund cash today are:
Glentrool & Bargrennan Community Trust
Award - £40,000
This group will transform Glentrool Primary School in Dumfries and Galloway into a multi-use community facility with a self-catering unit for disabled visitors.
Award - £144,000
This group will purchase the former Wallace Primary School in the village of Thornhill, Dumfries & Galloway, and redevelop it as studios, offices, hot-desking facilities, workshops, a performance space, a community kitchen and a creative studio for Wallace Hall Academy students, who have an award-winning design and robotics team.
Award - £61,750
This group in St Andrews aims to buy a small, neglected garden on the site of what was Greyfriars Chapel and create a poetry garden that reflects the site’s history and its connections with Mary, Queen of Scots, who gifted the through plaques and poems including facilities for people with disabilities and sensory impairment.
Peebles Community Trust
Award - £48,765
This group will purchase 17 acres of Eshiels Wood in Peebles and bring it into community ownership in order to enhance the landscape and biodiversity, improve public access and safeguard a cycle route, which runs alongside the River Tweed through an environmentally sensitive area.
The Scottish Land Fund is keen to support more applications from across Scotland and particularly within urban areas. Groups considering applying should contact the Big Lottery Fund to discuss their idea at email@example.com or by phoning 0300 123 7110
- Date published