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Future secured for Kyleakin Day Centre

The future of the Old School House in Kyleakin has been secured following an award of £24,580 from the Scottish Land Fund to Kyleakin Connections (formerly Skye and Lochalsh Association for Disability). 

The group is one of 16 who are sharing £3.6 million from the Scottish Land Fund.

This funding will enable Kyleakin Connections, which provides a day centre for adults with learning difficulties within the building, to buy the premises from Highland Council so that it can expand and develop them.

Dr Audrey Sinclair, Chairperson, Kyleakin Connections, said: “We are delighted with the news that we have been successful in our application to the Scottish Land Fund for funding to purchase the Old School in Kyleakin. This will give us the security to continue to operate as a day centre for adults with learning disabilities. It will also help us to go ahead with our plans to expand and develop the premises. We are working towards accommodating more flexible and varied activities and uses to meet the present and future needs of groups, especially the more vulnerable within South Skye and Lochalsh.

“Kyleakin Connections has been fortunate for many years to have a loyal group of members and friends and we are grateful for their support and encouragement with this project. I would also like to acknowledge Highland Council, the present owners of the Old School, for their positive response to our request to purchase the premises.

“At a time of so much uncertainty and sad news during this COVID-19 crisis, it is refreshing to be able to bring some good news into the community and give everyone something to look forward to. We are especially looking forward to when we can celebrate the acquisition of the premises.”

Minister, Cabinet Secretary for Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham, said:   “The COVID-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented global crisis which has fundamentally changed every aspect of our lives, and will do so for some time to come. Communities across the country, whilst impacted in so many ways by the lockdown, are playing a vital role in responding to the crisis and maintaining our resilience, our sense of spirit and local support network.  

“As we plan our recovery from COVID-19, we have a chance to re-imagine the Scotland around us, and to begin building a greener, fairer and more equal society and economy. Communities must be right at the heart of this process, and the funding announced today will support a wide range of projects to achieve just this, driving long-lasting benefits and empowerment to local communities.”  

The Scottish Land Fund is today awarding £3,669,762 to 16 projects. John Watt, Scottish Land Fund Committee Chair, said: “The Scottish Land Fund supports a wide range of urban and rural projects across Scotland. This particular round of funding has given a boost to communities in some of Scotland’s most remote and island locations, including larger tracts of land in Dumfries & Galloway and the Borders, allowing communities to take control of the resources that surround them and make local decisions about how these are used.” 

Sandra Holmes, Head of Community Assets at HIE, said: “The successful projects announced today are all great examples of people taking control of local resources for the long-term benefit of their communities. Kyleakin Connections will purchase their rented premises, providing security and enabling an expansion to accommodate wider community use and Colonsay Community Development Company will be able to purchase property to develop into much needed temporary accommodation for key workers and families. 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 are:

Newcastleton & District Community Trust
Award - £850,000

This money will allow NDCT in its bid to purchase 750 acres of Langholm Moor, part of the Tarras Water and Holm Hill estate, in order to develop new leisure facilities and renewable assets.

Colonsay Community Development Company
Award - £214,000

The award will allow CCDC to purchase a former Baptist manse, which it plans to develop into temporary accommodation for key orders and families on the island.

Dunnet Forestry Trust
Award - £45,950

Dunnet Forestry Trust plans to purchase 260 acres of forest, which it currently manages on behalf of Scottish Natural Heritage, in order to add to a successful wood fuel and wood products business by developing a community amenity for the Dunnet area.

South Islay Development
Award - £110,200

With this money SID will be in a position to purchase Port Ellen Playing Fields, which the group plans to upgrade into an activity park and campsite.

The Langholm Initiative
Award - £1,000,000

This money will go towards plans by the Langholm Initiative to turn a large area of Langholm Moor in Dumfries & Galloway into a community-owned nature reserve where hen harriers, one of the country’s most threatened birds, can thrive.

The Ballantrae Trust
Award - £262,493

This grant will allow Ballantrae Trust to purchase the Kings Arms Hotel in order to run it as a community-led social enterprise, offering flexible spaces for locals and visitors.

Shapinsay Development Trust
Award - £237,125

With this award, SDT will purchase two properties, which they plan to develop as affordable rented housing for residents on the island.

Stronsay Development Trust
Award - £130,790

By using this award to purchase a three-bedroom property, SDT will be able to provide affordable housing on the island.

Cliftonville & Coatdyke Community Group
Award - £190,690

Using this grant, CCCG will acquire Coatbridge Indoor Bowling Stadium in order to renovate and extend in order to better meet the needs of the community.

Dornoch Area Community Interest Company (DACIC)
Award - £216,411

This project by the Dornoch Area Community Interest Company will acquire the former Abattoir Site in the heart of Dornoch in order to establish community facilities, including a community centre with curling barn, car/coach parking, Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA), and a golf driving range.

Strathglass and Affric Community Company
Award - £38,588

Strathglass and Affric Community Company (SACC) intend to purchase a former nurse's home in Cannich and develop it into two homes for social rent.

All Roads lead to Whithorn Trust
Award- £110,635

This group will purchase the former Grapes Hotel in Whithorn, Dumfries and Galloway to convert it into affordable rented housing.

Friends of Dundonald Castle
Award – £29,000

With this grant FoDC aims to acquire Dundonald Castle Visitor Centre, which it currently operates, from South Ayrshire Council and develop it to provide a new community facility.

North Ronaldsay Trust
Award - £159,400

The Trust will use the award to acquire a house, garage with a workshop, shop, outbuildings and eight acres of agricultural land in order to convert them into a community facility, enterprise hub, commercial use and affordable housing.

The Ridge SCIO
Award - £49,900

With this grant The Ridge SCIO will purchase land and buildings at Black Bull Close, Dunbar to develop a space for community service, including training, volunteering and gardening.

Notes to Editors

  • The Scottish Land Fund reopened to applications in April 2016. The programme is funded by the Scottish Government and delivered in partnership by the National Lottery Community Fund and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, both of which have extensive experience of helping communities to acquire and develop their assets for over a decade.
  • The SLF Committee was appointed following the normal procedures for public appointments.
  • The National Lottery Community Fund distributes lottery funding to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK. It also uses its expertise in grant-giving to distribute non-Lottery funding. Full details of the National Lottery Community Fund programmes and grant awards are available on the website: National Lottery Community Fund Public Enquiries Line call: 0300 123 7110

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) delivers the Scottish Government Economic Strategy across more than half of Scotland - from Shetland to Argyll and from the Hebrides to Moray. It aims to support businesses and social enterprises; strengthen communities and fragile areas; develop key sectors, and create the conditions for a competitive and low carbon region. HIE has an annual budget of more than £75m and employs around 300 people in locations around the Highlands and Islands. See more at

Scottish Land Fund

Supporting urban and rural communities to become more resilient and sustainable through the ownership and management of land and land assets.

Read more about this programme

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