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Highland projects awarded grants from the Scottish Land Fund

The six projects share part of a total of £2,819,430 that has gone to ten community ownership projects across Scotland.

A restored Victorian spa near Dingwall; a prospective watersports centre and seaweed farm on Mull and a stretch of woodland in Kilfinan are amongst the community projects which have been awarded grants following the latest round of funding from the Scottish Land Fund.

Strathpeffer Spa Pavilion, built in the 1880s following the discovery of sulphurous springs, will now continue to play an important role at the heart of the community following an award of £484,550 to Strathpeffer Pavilion Community Trust which will allow them to purchase the building.

Fraser Mackenzie, Co-chair, Strathpeffer Pavilion Community Trust, said: 

“This is a remarkable day for the Pavilion. I'm sure the good news will not only be celebrated by the community of Strathpeffer but throughout the Highland and Island region that the pavilion has served for many years.

“The support from the Scottish Land Fund will ensure that these local assets are brought back into single ownership, to be owned and run by the local community in a co-ordinated and sustainable way that maximises benefit to the people that live, work and visit Strathpeffer and the surrounding rural communities and will contribute to the potential for Strathpeffer to become a focus for learning, culture and heritage within Ross-shire and throughout the Highlands.”

A stretch of land at Bendoran in the Ross of Mull will pass into community hands and be developed for water sports, seaweed farming and as a boat maintenance area as a result of a £450,487 grant to South West Mull & Iona Development.

Morven Gibson, General Manager, South West Mull & Iona Development, yesterday said: 

“The award from Scottish Land Fund will bring the land at Bendoran, historically a working boatyard, into community ownership and will result in the development of shoreside facilities for a seaweed farm and space for a watersports centre. Both projects will create employment and training opportunities and will provide a real boost to the economy of the Ross of Mull and Iona.”

An award of £326,750 will allow Friends of Glenan Wood in Argyll and Bute to purchase local woodland, developing it for community access and implementing a management plan to safeguard the natural heritage.

Robin Webster, Chair, Friends of Glenan Wood, yesterday said: 

"Friends of Glenan Wood.

The group was motivated by a desire to acquire this ancient oak woodland for the community in order to preserve the unique habitat and encourage people to explore and enjoy it.

"After much hard work we are delighted that our application has been approved by Forestry and Land Scotland and that the funding to make the acquisition happen has been confirmed by the Scottish Land Fund. We are very grateful to both of these bodies and are now looking forward to shaping a vibrant and sustainable future for Glenan Wood, ensuring this special place is enjoyed by many generations to come."

Portree and Braes Community Trust on Skye receive £88,390 in order to purchase run-down tennis courts and turn them into much-needed parting spaces within Portree.

Duncan Brown, Chair, Portree and Braes Trust, Bayfield Development Group, yesterday said: 

"We are absolutely delighted that the Scottish Land Fund has committed to support the Trust. Owning the land and generating a secure, regular income through its operation as a car and motorhome parking facility will allow the trust to reinvest into other community identified projects for the foreseeable future. We see this development as a vital first step in realising some long standing ambitions held by the community of Portree and Braes.”

Ardnamurchan Lighthouse Trust receives £224,900 to purchase buildings that they already operate as a cafe, shop and exhibition space around the iconic lighthouse.

Ritchie Dinnes, Chair, Ardnamurchan Lighthouse Trust, yesterday said: 

“We realised a few years ago that the site required money spending on it but neither the Trust, nor the Council, who owned it, had the resources to do that, so we approached Scottish Land Fund, who have provided excellent guidance and advice over the last few years culminating in this award.

“This will enable the Trust to secure the future of the attraction and provide a platform to source further funding to implement upgrades thus enabling us to continue to attract and enchant visitors at this wonderful location. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, The Architectural Heritage Fund, the Northern Lighthouse Board and the local community for their support of this iconic attraction at the most westerly point in mainland UK.”

An award of £405,903 means Dornoch Community Interest Company can buy the local police station and convert it into a business hub, artists’ studios, accommodation for seasonal workers and a gym.

Joan Bishop, Chair, Dornoch Area Community Interest Company (DACIC) yesterday said: 

“DACIC is absolutely delighted to have received the support of the Scottish Land Fund to purchase Dornoch Police Station from Police Scotland. All parties have cooperated to enable this 1980's building in the centre of historic Dornoch to become a community owned asset and be transformed into the Dornoch HUB. The building will be transformed into a business hub with offices and meeting rooms, a creative hub with studios and workshops and a health & well-being hub with a gym and community room. Furthermore, the former 4-bedroom Police Hostel will provide seasonal accommodation for staff working in local hotels and at the Royal Dornoch Golf Club, and off-season respite care.”

Minister, Cabinet Secretary for Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham yesterday said:

“This funding will enable ordinary communities across Scotland to achieve extraordinary things. By taking ownership of these assets – which range from inns, mills and woodlands in rural areas, to a social enterprise business hub in Nitshill, Glasgow – communities will open up opportunities for a whole range of projects and activities. My best wishes go to each of the groups, who have all worked hard to secure the Scottish Land Fund grants being awarded today.”

John Watt, Scottish Land Fund Committee Chair yesterday said: 

“Breathing new life into redundant facilities and finding new purposes for historic sites are just some of the ways in which the Scottish Land Fund is helping to support local communities across Scotland and its benefits are being felt from some of the most remote parts of the country to densely-populated urban areas.”

Sandra Holmes, Head of Community Assets at HIE, yesterday said: 

“Today’s successful projects are all great examples of people taking control of local resources for the long-term benefit of their communities. The Spa Pavilion for instance, is a source of great pride to Strathpeffer and is a key economic asset for the local community as a visitor attraction and providing employment. Ownership will give the community greater control over these important assets and will help ensure its long-term future. We wish all the successful communities very best in their new ventures.”

Other projects that receivied Scottish Land Fund cash yesterday were:

Barrhill Development Trust

Award – £135,000

Purchasing the village pub, The Trout Inn, will allow Barrhill Development Trust to retain an important amenity and to develop it for the benefit of the local economy and community.

Greater Pollok Enterprise Trust

Award – £332,000

This group will purchase an office building known as ‘The Wedge’, along with the ground lease of a local business park, in order to create a co-working space and a business hub that will help to support local enterprise and employment.

Palnackie Village Shop Ltd

Award – £182,250

By purchasing the sole village shop, adjoining cafe and attached 3-bedroom bungalow, this group will create a social space for isolated residents and provide affordable rental housing.

Peebles Community Trust

Award – £189,200

Peebles Community Trust will purchase the former ex-servicemen’s club in the town, currently supporting more than 100 community groups, to prevent it from being closed and in order to allow it to be used by even more organisations.

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


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