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Lewis community to purchase local land

An estate on the Isle of Lewis will come into community ownership, thanks to the latest Scottish Land Fund grants announced today (29 MAY). 

With an investment of £207,500 the Carloway Estate Trust will purchase over 11,000 acres of land on the north-west coast of the Isle of Lewis that includes the renowned Callanish Standing Stones, over 200 crofts spread across seven townships, and a number of outlying Islands.

Announcing the funding, Scottish Land Fund Committee Chair, John Watt, said: “We know from experience that communities can achieve great things when they own and manage local land and property. The Carloway Estate possesses a range of assets and has the advantage of being a popular visitor destination thanks to the Callanish Stones and Dun Carloway Broch, so there is great potential for tourism related development. This is one of two projects receiving funding today which reflect the pioneering steps people will take to address problems or challenges in their own areas.”

KennyJohn MacLeannan, Chair of the Carloway Estate Trust, said: "Carloway Estate Trust is absolutely delighted with the Scottish Land Fund grant for the purchase of Carloway Estate on behalf of the community. This grant will now allow us to progress the formal aspects of the community buyout, and ultimately transfer the estate into community ownership. We would like to thank everyone at Big Lottery and Highlands & Islands Enterprise who helped us through the process and approved us as worthy recipients of the grant. The grant will be put to good use, primarily to pay for the estate, but also for legal costs and the employment of a Development Officer for a two year period to help promote estate development plans. This is great news for the Trust that started the buyout process less than two years ago.”

Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Paul Wheelhouse, said: “The awards of these grants to communities throughout Scotland to buy land and buildings will help them to make a real difference to their future development. 
“I am delighted to see a diverse range of community land and buildings projects gaining financial support from the Scottish Land Fund from the Western Isles to Dumfries and Galloway. I am confident that the grant awards from the Land Fund will make a tangible difference to the development and future sustainability of these communities. These projects – funding for an estate and a building in a High Street - are examples of communities identifying how land and buildings can be a catalyst for community development; both creating and realising ambitions. The Scottish Government is committed to supporting rural communities throughout Scotland buying land and land assets for their sustainable development.”

Also receiving funding from the Scottish Land Fund today is Upper Nithsdale Arts and Crafts Community Initiative Ltd which will use its grant of £62,442 to purchase a vacant three-storey building and garden in the village of Sanquhar in Dumfries and Galloway.

The Scottish Land Fund is funded by £9 million from the Scottish Government and administered by the Big Lottery Fund in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

For more information on this release please contact

Big Lottery Fund Scotland
0141 242 1458

Scottish Government Press Office 
0131 244 2018

Highland and Islands Enterprise Press Office 
01463 244238

Notes to editors

• The Scottish Land Fund has £9 million over four years to assist communities in rural Scotland to acquire, develop and manage local land and land assets. The programme is funded by the Scottish Government and delivered in partnership by the Big Lottery 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. Committee members are non remunerated.
• The BIG Lottery 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 BIG Lottery Fund programmes and grant awards are available on the website: BIG Lottery 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 250 people in locations around the Highlands and Islands. See more at to 
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