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The Scottish Land Fund, Growing Community Assets and BIG

February 2, 2012

Over the last few weeks and months, we’ve been asked by a number of our stakeholders for information on the Scottish Land Fund and its successor programme Growing Community Assets.  With this in mind, we thought that it might be helpful if we published a summary of the key information on BIG’s involvement with these programmes.

The Scottish Land Fund supported the community land buy-out of the Glencanisp and Drumrunie Estates in Assynt

The Lottery funded Scottish Land Fund (SLF) was set up by BIG’s predecessor organisation the New Opportunities Fund in 2001. The programme, which ran until 2006, was delivered in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise who won the contract to support applicants in the delivery of the programme.

  •  316 applications were received and  257 were approved
  • 239 grants were  made to a total of 188 different groups
  • 78 projects funded involved the acquisition of land
  • £13.9M was invested through the SLF.

Growing Community Assets (GCA), the successor programme to SLF opened in May 2006. It closed to applications in 2009 and reopened in June 2010. GCA supported a wider range of projects than SLF, including opening up new opportunities in this area to urban communities.

  •  209 applications were received 127 awards were approved
  • 127  grants were made to a total of 114 different groups
  • 17 applications sought funding purely for land acquisition, 8 were funded with grants totalling £5m
  • The majority of land related applications which were not funded were for forestry projects, where BIG required that the assets were purchased at a value below market rate
  • In addition, GCA funded 26 projects worth around £9M which involved the development of significant land assets. This group of projects includes funding for Assynt, Gigha, Knoydart and North Harris.
  • £48.2M was invested through GCA between 2006 and 2009

GCA re-opened to new applications in June 2010. To date, 15 Stage One applications have been successful, and we’ve already made one award.

We currently have 12 live projects on our books. The combined funding request value of these projects is £8.5M, and we expect to be able to fund the majority of these applications.

Through GCA, we hope to continue BIG’s record of active support for land buy-outs over the next few years. With this in mind we have approached a number of organisations in this sector to offer to work in partnership with them to encourage and support land buy-outs through our programme.

We’ll keep you posted.

Details on how to apply for funding through Growing Community Assets.

More detail on these impact of these programmes can be found in the Scottish Land Fund Evaluation, and the ongoing evalution of Growing Community Assets.

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