The Scottish Land Fund committee

The Scottish Land Fund encourages communities to buy land and buildings in the heart of their local area that matters – delivering social, environmental and economic benefits for generations to come. It is funded by the Scottish Government and delivered in partnership by The National Lottery Community Fund and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.  Here we introduce the Scottish Land Fund committee, appointed by the Scottish Government.

Dr Calum Macleod - Great Bernera image

The committee is chaired by John Watt – and is made up of  Lisa Tennant, David Green, Duncan MacPherson, Anne Lear, Janet Miles and Josiah Lockhart. The appointments will run until March 2019 on a part time basis.

The Scottish Government’s £10 million Scottish Land Fund will support more communities – both urban and rural – to buy their land and other assets.

The previous Land Fund awarded £9 million over three years to 52 communities throughout Scotland. Of the 500,000 acres of land already in community ownership, over 90,000 acres was purchased with help from the Land Fund, benefiting 71,000 people throughout the country.

Minister, Cabinet Secretary for Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham, said: “Each member of the Scottish Land Fund Committee brings a breadth of experience and a deep passion for community land issues, and I have confidence in their ability to take good decisions on applications for support, in line with the Scottish Government’s objectives for the Fund.

“Community ownership in Scotland is going from strength to strength. The Scottish Land Fund is a key element in our strategy for community ownership and land reform and it has already made a real difference to many local communities across Scotland. I would encourage all communities to look at whether the Scottish Land Fund can help them take forward their ambitions and aspirations. Owning land and buildings can make their communities stronger, resilient and more sustainable.”

Scottish Land Fund committee members are:

john_watt imageDr John Watt OBE from Inverness, chairs the committee. John has spent over 30 years working in the field of regional economic development. In 1997 he set up Highlands and Islands Enterprise’s Community Land Unit to assist communities to acquire and manage land assets. He is a retired Director of Strengthening Communities at HIE where he oversaw the Community Land Unit and other teams working in community-led rural regeneration. He has been involved in a number of community buyouts – including Gigha, Knoydart, North Harris, South Uist, Galson, and Eigg – both at acquisition and active management stages. John was also the vice convenor of the Land Reform Review Group as well as chair of the previous Scottish Land Fund.

Lisa Tennant, from Glasgow, worked as a Consultant with Carbeth Hutters Community Company, leading their small team in developing and delivering the business plan for their ground-breaking £1.75 million community buy-out. Lisa also started, built and sold her own company, Book for Trees. The company bought overstocked and damaged books from publishers, keeping them from landfill and creating jobs for local people, thus delivering economic, environmental and social benefits.

David Green OBE, from Achiltibuie, was an Independent Councillor and then Convener of Highland Council from 1999-2003. David was also Chairman of Cairngorms National Park Authority from 2006- 2012, where he was involved in setting up the Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust. David was also a board member of the Scotland Committee of the Big Lottery Fund between 2006-14, as well as Chair of the Coastal Communities Highlands and Islands Panel. David was part of a community led enterprise as Chairman of Achiltibuie Village Hall Committee.

Community Land Scot - West Harris image 1wind turbineDuncan MacPherson has worked in community-led rural development in Scotland and Africa since 1993. Duncan is an experienced project manager in community land purchase, agricultural and conservation management, community woodland, construction, and renewables. Duncan is Commercial Development Manager of the West Harris Trust – community owner of 18,000 acres – overseeing the building of a combined community venue, office and business facility, as well as working on small scale renewable energy projects.

Anne Lear, from Glasgow is currently Chief Executive Govanhill Housing Association, which sits at the head of a group structure which includes the Govanhill Community Development Trust – which leases workspaces and supports wider community action – and GREAT Gardens, which provides training opportunities. Anne is also a lead member for the Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations – with a special interest in community development and a former chair of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations.

Janet Miles, from Gairloch, has worked with community development trusts and social enterprises in rural Scotland for the past 17 years as part of her role in managing Gairloch and Loch Ewe Action forum. Janet has successfully secured loan funding from Social Investment Scotland and more than £2m of grant funding with almost 40 separate grants for community development projects. Janet is also a Non-Executive Director of the Development Trust Association Scotland.

Josiah Lockhart, as Chief Executive, oversees the development and strategic planning of Firstport. Josiah has over 10 years’ experience leading and developing social enterprises though has also worked in the private and public sectors.  He has a strong history of seeing some of Scotland’s most successful social enterprises through intense change including the start-up of the Grassmarket Community Project and the rescue and restructure of Gorgie City Farm.

Want to know more about the Scottish Land Fund – then get in touch:


Tel:         0300 123 7110

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