Scottish Land Fund cash for Ettrick and Newcastleton’s community groups
A disused steading near Ettrickbridge is to be transformed into homes for affordable rent following a grant of £285,000 to Ettrick & Yarrow Community Development Company from the Scottish Land Fund.
The money will be used to purchase and convert Kirkhope Farm Steading to provide five homes, along with office and workspaces for local businesses.
Meanwhile Newcastleton & District Community Trust has received £46,000 to buy 100 acres of land surrounding the village, including a golf course, bowling green and large playing field. The grant will allow the community to improve and develop the facilities.
Sandy Cumming, Director, Ettrick & Yarrow Community Development Company said: “The support of the Scottish Land fund will make it possible to bring these old buildings back into use for the benefit of the community. The affordable homes and business space will be a huge boost for both valleys as there are very few properties available to rent at prices local young people and families can afford and this has had a real impact on the local school and community as a whole. “
Barbara Elborn, Secretary Newcastleton & District Community Trust said: “This award enables Newcastleton & District Community Trust to secure professional advice, ensuring the successful transfer of community leisure assets from Buccleuch. The assets are located over 41.4 hectares of land and includes; Newcastleton Golf Course, first created by its members in 1893, the Polysport & Astro Courts as well as the playing fields developed by the community in 2000, the riverside, show fields used since 1893 to host the Holm Show, Sawmill plantation now a much-loved local walk as well as local allotments. Owning the land means the voluntary groups, and the members that manage them, now have every opportunity to upgrade and develop them to enhance what we already have. To help them achieve this the award provides budget to recruit a leisure assets manager whose role will be to work with the groups to develop their plans and implement the changes they envisage. We cannot wait to get started.
“NDCT wishes to extend its thanks to the team at Buccleuch for their generosity in allowing us to acquire the sites, these assets together with the land now enables the community to have more control over its future; they are an integral part of our community development plan.”
The grants are just two 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:
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 school house as a home for rent.
Whitekirk Community Company
Award - £39,500
By using its grant to buy the local village hall, Whitekirk Community Company will be able to secure the future of a facility that they have been managing and maintaining for the last five years.
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 a 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.
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