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Grants for projects across Scotland from Scottish Land Fund

A forest on Islay is set to pass into community ownership, following a grant from the Scottish Land Fund.

Islay Development Initiative has received £619,122 with which to buy Sgiba Forest near Port Charlotte, which it plans to develop into a community woodland with a pathway network, community events and learning space.

The grant is one of 11 totalling £2,381,927 that has been given to communities across the country in the latest round of awards by the Scottish Land Fund.

The Scottish Land Fund reopened to applications in April 2021. 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.

Mairi Gougeon, Cabinet Secretary, Rural Affairs, Land Reform and Islands, said: “The Scottish Land Fund is a valuable tool, allowing local groups to develop projects that will provide lasting benefits to their communities, in both urban and rural areas.

“It is especially welcome to see projects that will positively impact not just people but local wildlife and biodiversity too. This aligns with our wider goal to ensure that communities can reap the benefits during our transition to a green future for Scotland.

“I’d like to congratulate all of the successful groups. It is their expertise and limitless passion that are the real drivers of change in our communities across the nation.”

Thomasina Glover, CEO, Islay Development Initiative, said: “Islay Development Initiative is delighted that we have been successful in our Stage 2 application to the Scottish Land Fund to purchase Sgiba Forest on behalf of the Islay Community. As Islay is part of the Carbon Neutral Islands project, this forest will not only be a great asset in helping us achieve our Net Zero ambitions, but also address several other community issues such as rural depopulation and peatland restoration. IDI is looking forward to delivering significant community benefit in developing this project.”

Cara Gillespie, Scottish Land Fund Committee Chair said: “This current round of funding demonstrates the importance of the Scottish Land Fund in helping both urban and rural areas to achieve their goals. SLF grants will enable these groups to unlock other funding and take positive actions to help their communities to thrive.”

And Sandra Holmes, head of community assets at HIE, said: “The groups receiving funding have all identified opportunities to help their local area to thrive. The projects are all great examples of people taking control of local resources for the long-term benefit of their communities. Ownership will give them greater control over important assets that will reap rewards for people now and for generations to come. We wish every successful organisation the very best in their new ventures.”

Other groups receiving funding are:

Harris Development Ltd
Award - £147,790

Harris Development Limited will purchase land in Tarbert, Harris in order to build modular accommodation units to alleviate a shortage of housing for key workers.

North Yell Development Council
Award - £142,600

North Yell Development Council (NYDC) will acquire the shop at Cullivoe, North Yell, Shetland. NYDC will take over the running of the shop, securing employment, an important amenity and gathering space for the community.

Strathdearn Community Development
Award - £356,934

Strathdearn Community Developments (SCD) will purchase a woodland in Tomatin, Inverness. SCD will create a more biodiverse and sustainable woodland environment that will be used by the community for recreation and wellbeing.

The Crafthub
Award - £286,788

The Crafthub will purchase Trumland Church (known locally as The Space) on Rousay in Orkney. The group currently use the asset for pop-up events. The Crafthub will use The Space to create a community café and craft shop, offering workshops and community events.

Friends of The Broadway Prestwick
Award-£328,060

Friends of the Broadway Prestwick will purchase the former Broadway Cinema in Prestwick, South Ayrshire. The cinema will be redeveloped into an accessible, modern cinema with community space.

Portree and Braes Community Trust
Award - £53,655

Portree and Braes Community Trust will acquire amenity land known as the King George

V playing fields in Portree, Skye. This will benefit the community by enabling the improvement of land, and changing facilities resulting in increased use for sports clubs and activities

St Ernan’s by the Loch SCIO
Award - £86,446

St Ernan’s by the Loch SCIO will acquire the St Ernan’s Church building, Fionnphort and restore it in order to make it modern, versatile and accessible for local people. Thus, enabling quiet contemplation, small gatherings, ceremonies, exhibitions, a place of cultural learning with focus on Gaelic language as well as health and wellbeing activities.

Wester Hailes Growing Communities
Award - £50,675

Wester Hailes Growing Communities will purchase land in Wester Hailes, Edinburgh. Purchase of the site will pave the way for the construction of a new community centre, providing a multi-purpose space to come together through events, learning, families and food.

Gargunnock Community Shop Ltd
Award - £154,759

Gargunnock Community Shop Ltd will acquire the vacant shop building in the heart of Gargunnock village, Stirlingshire. The shop will be renovated and will reopen as a community shop, supporting local business and enabling crucial local services such as prescription deliveries to recommence.

Shapinsay Development Trust
Award - £155,098

Shapinsay Development Trust will acquire a mid-terraced house in Shapinsay, Orkney, which it will renovate then offer the property for affordable rent.

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..
  • 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: www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk. 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 www.hie.co.uk

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

Channel website: https://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/

Original article link: https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/news/press-releases/2023-12-14/grants-for-projects-across-scotland-from-scottish-land-fund

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