Highlands and Islands projects receive Scottish Land Fund cash
A forest on Mull is set to be bought for the local community following an award of £518,420 from the Scottish Land Fund.
The money will allow Mull and Iona Community Trust to buy the 200ha Ardura Forest in the south of the island, where they aim to restore the ancient woodland that was replaced during the 1960s by commercial conifers.
The group also plans to develop woodland trails through the trees and to create a forest school for local children.
Moray Finch, General Manager of Mull and Iona Community Trust, said: “The opportunity presented by this grant will empower the community of Mull to restore Ardura Forest in a way that benefits nature and biodiversity whilst at the same time creating opportunities for crofting, recreation and wild-life viewing. We’re delighted that we can start to deliver the plans suggested by the community.”
Also this month Applecross Community Company has been given £11,900 to purchase part of the garden of Applecross Surgery from NHS Highland and develop three two-bedroom properties for affordable housing aimed to support older people in the community. And Tobermory Harbour Association has received £22,040 to purchase the Solum of Ledaig Carpark and Boatpark within Tobermory as part of long term environmental and economic plans for the community.
Roslyn Clarke, local development officer, Applecross Community Company, said: “This is great news. This will make a big difference in addressing our housing crisis in Applecross. This is the first purchase of land the community has undertaken through the Community Asset Transfer process. Receiving funding from the SLF will empower the community to address its housing shortage.”
Meanwhile Anne Fraser, General Manager, Tobermory Harbour, said: “We are delighted to receive this award from the Scottish Land Fund. This piece of land has strategic importance for the long term development of Tobermory Harbour. Ownership of the Solum will empower the local community to ensure any future development of Ledaig will include a community impact assessment. As community landowners, Tobermory Harbour Association will work in partnership with government bodies on equal terms, to drive transformational change, for the good of the local community.”
And Brian Swinbanks, Chair, Tobermory Harbour, said: “Tobermory Harbour welcomes this historic award from the Land Fund which will return seabed, infilled with the support of the Crown Estate in the 1990's, to community ownership in 2019.”
The grants are part of a total of £1,628, 610 that has been awarded to eight groups across Scotland during the latest round of grants from the Scottish Land Fund.
Minister, Cabinet Secretary for Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham said of today’s grants ; “This substantial set of Scottish Land Fund grants will enable eight diverse projects across the country to buy up key assets for the benefit of local people and put the ownership and responsibility of key services and facilities right at the heart of the community.
“The Scottish Land Fund supports a wide range of community ownership projects. Behind each one lies a story, as well as a great deal of hard work and commitment from local residents to unlock the opportunity that this funding brings. I congratulate each of the successful applicants and wish them good luck on the next chapter of their journey.”
Other projects receiving Scottish Land Fund cash today are:
Viewpark Conservation Group
Award - £435,800
This group will purchase the historic Douglas Support Estate at Viewpark in North Lanarkshire in order to secure its future as a green space for the local community
Blackhall Community Trust Steering Group
Award - £33,750
Blackhall Community Trust, Edinburgh aim to purchase a former sports pavilion, currently used as a nursery, from Edinburgh City Council in order to provide community facilities alongside the nursery. Planned improvements include a community meeting space, sports changing facilities and activities for older people.
Community Carrot Dunbar
Award - £119,200
This group will purchase a successful greengrocer’s, which has built a business on sourcing ethical foods, cleaning supplies and beauty products, in order to strengthen its connections with local producers and increase its involvement with community groups. The shop will also be used as a hub for activities.
Award - £270,000
Deveron Projects Ltd (DP) will purchase an empty retail building in the main square of Huntly, Aberdeenshire in order to provide more space for its community activities.
The Black Bull at Gartmore
Award - £217,500
Black Bull Gartmore Hub and Pub Ltd will acquire the Black Bull Hotel premises and run it as a community owned and managed hub, café, pub, restaurant and accommodation facility, protecting this last remaining informal social space in the village from closure.
- Date published