Scottish Land Fund puts communities in control

Loking down the Loch to Ulva Ferry on the Isle of Mull
Loking down the Loch to Ulva Ferry on the Isle of Mull

Nine Scottish groups are today (12 FEBRUARY) sharing in £930,333 to bring important land and land assets into community ownership after the Scottish Land Fund  stepped in to help local people realise their ambitions. Amongst them is a community completing its five year bid to purchase a local forest in Inverness-shire and a plan to buy local land to build affordable housing on the Isle of Mull.

Announcing the funding, Scottish Land Fund Committee Chair, John Watt, said: “Each of today’s successful projects reflect the innovative steps local people are taking to address problems or challenges in their own areas. .The quality of projects developed by communities has been consistently impressive, and I am delighted that the Scottish Land Fund has once again been able to step in to help local people realise their aspirations for community ownership.”

Environment and Climate Change Minister Paul Wheelhouse, said: “  I am delighted to see the diversity of projects that are coming forward and are being supported by the Scottish Land Fund. The grants are for projects ranging from establishment of a substantial community forestry project, the purchase of a community’s petrol filling station, the taking on ownership a community’s local retail facilities and land to expand community facilities, among other projects.  These projects are all examples that demonstrate the foresight and determination that communities are showing to take control of their own futures with support from the Scottish Land Fund.”

Some highlights of this announcement:

A view of Aigas Forrest
A view of Aigas Forrest

Aigas Community Forest will use its £221,000 award to purchase part of the Aigas Forest, which is adjacent to theCrask of Aigas, Beauly, Inverness-shire.  They will also lease the remaining area of commercial woodland, bringing the whole forest into community control. The group plan to develop the forest to create economic and social benefits forthe local community.

Mull and Iona Community Trust, in partnership with Ulva School Community Association, receives £141,760 to purchase land at Ulva Ferry, on the Isle of Mull. The group have been exploring ideas for development with new affordable housing identified as a local priority.

The Scottish Land Fund is funded by £9 million from the Scottish Government and administered by the Big Lottery Fund in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

For information on all of today’s Scottish Land Fund grants go to our Big Lottery Fund newsroom.

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