New future for old primary schools as communities benefit from Scottish Land Fund
- Press Releases
- New future for old primary schools as communities benefit from Scottish Land Fund
Three former primary schools are set to be transformed as part of the latest round of grants from the Scottish Land Fund.
Isle of Kerrera Development Trust receives £119,167 to convert the former Kerrera School into a community hub for locals and visitors.
Glentrool & Bargrennan Community Trust in Dumfries & Galloway gets £40,000 to turn Glentrool Primary into a multi-use community facility with a self-catering unit for disabled visitors.
And £144,000 has been awarded to Thornhill Collective to purchase the former Wallace Primary School in the village of Thornhill, also in 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.
The schools are amongst seven projects to benefit from the latest round of cash made available from the Scottish Land Fund for the purchase of land and building assets.
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.”
Meta Maltoman of Glentrool & Bargrennan Community Trust said: “We’re delighted with the news that the Scottish Land Fund has awarded us this grant, which is essential to the next stage of our plans to take over our former village school from Dumfries & Galloway Council. Thanks to a previous Scottish Land Fund grant, we have a business plan in place for developing a multi-use community centre with a range of income raising activities to give it a viable future. This latest funding will let us start work on adapting the building for its new uses and reaching out to a wider market for our facilities.”
And David Smith of Thornhill Collective said: “We are thrilled with the award. In 2017 we came together with an idea to buy and transform our ‘Old School’ into an innovative, design-led, community asset - a space that would foster creative collaboration and benefit our village and the surrounding communities. It’s been exciting to see that initial idea grow and develop into a strong business model through our consultation. With the support from SLF we’re now one step closer to making it happen.”
Minister, Cabinet Secretary for Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham 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 Scottish Land Fund 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:
Mull and Iona Community Trust (MICT)
Award - £257,266
This group will purchase land adjacent to the community-owned pontoon at Ulva Ferry on the Isle of Mull and develop a Shore Facilities building to provide a social meeting space for the community and facilities for visitors. It will have bunk rooms, office rental space, showers, toilets, laundry, car park and camper van hook-ups.
Tobermory Harbour Association (THA)
Award - £99,307
This group will purchase the old sawmill, boathouse, pier and slipway in Aros Park on Mull, together with the surrounding land, as a springboard towards the regeneration of the area for tourists and the local community.
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