£39,500 to help Village Hall near North Berwick pass into community hands
Whitekirk Village Hall near North Berwick in East Lothian is to be bought by the local community with a grant from the Scottish Land Fund.
The hall is the only community facility in the village and is used for coffee mornings, Christmas parties and other social gatherings. Over the past five years volunteers have carried out extensive renovation work and ownership of the hall will allow the village to secure its future.
David Warren, Chair, Whitekirk Community Company said: “On behalf of the Whitekirk Community Company, I would like to thank Scottish Land Fund for their assistance with our application. This grant means so much to our village and the preservation of our wonderful village hall for generations to come. This assistance to purchase the Village Hall will offer us a platform to continue the improvements we have made to the hall and to offer the community a fantastic hub for many different community events.”
The grant to Whitekirk Community Company is one of ten totaling £1,313,841 that has been awarded to groups across Scotland during the latest round of grants from the Scottish Land Fund.
Land Reform Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said of today’s grants: “Last week, we published statistics showing that our policy of supporting community ownership is paying off. In 2018, 37 assets came into community ownership, taking the total amount of land owned and controlled by local people to over 200,000 hectares.
Now, as we approach the end of 2019 - and just in time for Christmas – I am pleased that a further ten communities across Scotland have been given the opportunity to fulfil their ambitions. It is a reward for their hard work and commitment and I wish them the very best for the next step of their journey.”
John Watt, Scottish Land Fund Committee Chair said: "Through these grants we have been able to support groups in both inner city areas and in some of the remotest parts of Scotland, helping local people to come together to undertake a range of activities designed to create stronger communities."
Sandra Holmes, Head of Community Assets at HIE, said: “Today’s successful projects are all great examples of people taking control of local resources for the long-term benefit of their communities. Comann Eachdraidh Eirisgeidh for instance, has ambitious plans to renovate the school into a modern community hub while the grant to Arisaig Community Trust will enable them to purchase land for a much-needed affordable housing development.
“Ownership will give these communities greater control over important assets and will help ensure its long-term future. We wish all the successful groups the very best in their new ventures.”
Other projects receiving Scottish Land Fund cash today are:
Newcastleton & District Community Trust
Award - £46,000
This group will take ownership of a wide range of leisure facilities surrounding the village, buying 100 acres of land that includes an 18-hole golf course, a bowling green and a large playing field.
Millport Town Hall SCIO
This group will buy and refurbish the island’s town hall to provide space for community activities and to offer office space for rental income.
Arisaig Community Trust
Awards £234,400 & £23,750
This group has received grants for two projects. It will use £234,000 to buy land on which to build six affordable homes and provide four discounted self-build plots as well as providing an area for business units and a community woodland. And its second grant of £23,750 will allow the Trust to buy 2.38 acres of land split between the shorefront and the village playground, with plans to create seating areas, car parking and interpretation boards for visitors, as well as reinforcing the sea wall and providing space for an orchard and allotments.
Kilmaronock Old Kirk Trust
The group will by a redundant church building and car park to make the space available for community activities, performances and events, while the adjacent church field will be developed as a space for woodland burials.
Ettrick & Yarrow Community Development Company
Award - £285,000
By developing a disused steading this group will provide five affordable homes for rent to tackle a lack of housing in the local area. The plans also include office space and workshops for businesses.
Garnethill Multicultural Centre
Award - £329,576
This grant will allow Garnethill Multicultural Centre to own the building in the centre of Glasgow which it has occupied since1988 and to carry out repairs that will allow it to continue providing social, welfare and educational support to the local community.
Comann Eachdraidh Eirsgeidh (Eriskay Historical Society)
Award - £48,234
Buying a disused school and adjacent buildings will allow Eriskay Historical Society to create a heritage exhibition space, offices, a tearoom and to renovate the former schoolhouse as a home for rent.
Active Communities (Scotland) Ltd
Award - £199,000
This group will purchase the former police station situated in the town centre of Johnstone, Renfrewshire to help consolidate their services and activities into a central space.
- Date published