The Scottish Land Fund welcomes new committee

We are delighted to announce that the new Scottish Land Fund committee has been appointed. Seven members from different areas of Scotland, with a range of expertise, appointed by the Scottish Government, will take up their positions on a part time basis until March 2022.

The Scottish Land Fund offers grants of up to £1 million to help communities take ownership of the land and buildings that matter to them.

With a budget of £10 million per year, it is delivered by the National Lottery Community Fund in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and is open for applications.

The previous Land Fund awarded £39 million over five years to 232 communities throughout Scotland, supporting community ownership totalling almost 10,000 hectares in coverage.

Meet the committee

Cara Gillespie, from Gatehouse of Fleet, is the new Scottish Land Fund Chair. She combines a role as Independent Sector Lead for Scottish Care in Dumfries and Galloway, with a consultancy practice, specialising in third sector governance. Cara has 25 years’ experience in senior management, funding, consultancy, advisory and volunteer roles across the community and social enterprise sectors.  Previously, with Foundation Scotland, she was responsible for developing and delivering a portfolio of rural community benefit funds, arising primarily from renewable projects.

Alan Hobbett, from Burntisland, is Director of Kingdom Housing Association and a former Director of Fyne Homes Housing Association and of Leicester Family Housing Association.  He is professionally trained in town planning and housing studies and has been Chief Executive / Projects Director / Project Manager for a range of community and voluntary organisations, including Isle of Gigha Heritage Trust.

Janet Miles, a resident of Gairloch, has worked with community development trusts and social enterprises in rural Scotland for the past 23 years, as part of her role in managing Gairloch and Loch Ewe Action forum (GALE).In this time, Janet has secured loan funding from Social Investment Scotland and in excess of £2.5m of grant funding for community development and regeneration projects and activities. Janet has been on the Scottish Land Fund Committee for the previous five years.

Tom Black, from Edinburgh, is employed with Foundation Scotland and has worked in grant making organisations for over 11 years and third sector support bodies for five years.  Tom led on the development and management of a range of a range of community-based food and energy-focussed projects for PEDAL Portobello Transition Town. He has supported a number of community-led enterprises, and helped raise funds for the buy-out of Bellfield Church and Halls by Action Porty.

Dr Bobby Macaulay, originally from Shetland, is a Research Associate at the Centre for Mountain Studies, University of the Highlands and Islands, based in Perth.  His research focuses on sustainable development and community empowerment in rural and island setting.  Bobby has previously spent six years at The Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health at Glasgow Caledonian University, focusing on the role of social enterprise and community landowners in improving public health. 

Pauline Megson lives in East Lothian and is the Sustainable Place Manager at Historic Environment Scotland.  She has spent 20 years working in the public and charitable sectors. She is a Board member of Shetland Amenity Trust and has a track record in project development; heritage-led regeneration; community empowerment and asset transfer; community development; public policy; grant funding; options appraisal, feasibility and conservation planning.

Malcolm Combe, originally from Renfrewshire, is a senior lecturer in Scots private law at the University of Strathclyde. While at the School of Law at the University of Aberdeen, he was instrumental in setting up the Scottish University Land Unit. This encourages law students to take an active interest in land reform, community empowerment, and community rights in respect of land. He was also an adviser to both the Land Reform Review Group and Deer Working Group.

For more information on the Fund and how to apply visit the Scottish Land Fund webpage.

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