Projects on Eriskay and in Arisaig share £315,984 from Scottish Land Fund
A former school on the island of Eriskay that is set for a new life as an exhibition centre and a housing project in Arisaig, along with a scheme to repair the sea wall and upgrade the shore-front in the village, are three community ownership projects that have received grants from the Scottish Land Fund.
Eriskay Historical Society will use their £48,234 grant to turn a former school on the island into a heritage centre and to renovate the adjacent schoolhouse so that it can be made available for rent. Arisaig Community Trust, meanwhile receives two grants totaling £258,150 to buy land for new housing and to acquire ownership of the shore-front in order to upgrade it for residents and visitors.
Pamela King, Director, Arisaig Community Trust said: “This is a very exciting award for Arisaig and will enable us to purchase three separate areas of land in the village, bringing them into community ownership for the first time. We have developed plans for a community-led housing project, which will prioritise owner-occupied residences and provide affordable, sustainable homes for rent in the village. A multi-use playing field, playpark and adjoining area, which we would like to turn into a new orchard, will also be bought with this award as well as a considerable part of the village shore-front, which we will improve with better parking, pathways, seating and amenities. This will enhance the area for both residents and visitors, supporting the local economy with new homes and helping ensure tourism is managed sustainably. It is a fantastic opportunity for people to get involved in real and direct change in the village.”
Sandra MacInnes, Secretary, Comann Eachdraidh Eirisgeidh (Eriskay Historical Society), said: "We are delighted to have been awarded the Scottish Land Fund which will give us the financial assistance to purchase the former Eriskay School from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. This will enable us to renovate the former school and utilise the space to have a dedicated exhibition area to showcase the history and heritage of the island as well as having office space for the Eriskay Pony Society and a tearoom where the community and visitors can meet and socialise."
The grants to Comann Eachdraidh Eirisgeidh and Arisaig Community Trust are amongst ten totaling £1,313,841that have 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.
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.
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.
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 filed 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.
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