Big Lottery Fund
Nine people power projects share Scottish Land Fund cash
New social housing near Dumfries, revamped swimming facilities in Argyll and a community owned pub in East Ayrshire are amongst a range of community projects today (WED 28 MARCH) sharing in £1.4 million from the Scottish Land Fund.
Across the country nine groups, run by local passionate people, are being empowered to own those land and buildings that matter most to them.
Mid Argyll Community Enterprise owns the Mid Argyll Community Pool (MACPool) in Lochgilphead. Today the group receives £315,788 to buy the land on which the pool is built, as well as two buildings beside it. Plans for the future include upgrading the existing swimming facilities, opening a new community café with children’s soft play area and providing rental space for therapies and sports classes.
Chairperson, Kim Ritchie, Mid Argyll Community Enterprises, said: “This award from Scottish Land Fund is the first crucial step in our exciting plans to develop and expand the facilities at MacPool, enabling us to deliver more and better services to the community of MidArgyll. The Board and Staff of MacPool are very grateful to the Scottish Land Fund for this great opportunity.”
Villagers in Dunlop are celebrating a grant of £160,000 to the Dunlop Community Hub Ltd (DCH). The group plan to purchase the only remaining Public House in the village and develop the upper floor to create a new, flexible space for community activities and events.
Kevin Brown, Director, Dunlop Community Hub Ltd, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this grant from the Scottish Land Fund. It will secure the future of this historic building, secure existing jobs in the pub and allow us to use the existing business to develop a social enterprise, building on the skills of local people for the benefit of the community as a whole.”
New social housing is the focus of activity for the Nith Valley LEAF Trust (NVLT) which receives £68,400 to buy land at Castle Crescent in the village of Closeburn near Dumfries. As Mike Steele of NVLT explains, the group hope to secure the land in order to build three terrace houses for local young families:
“We are really pleased to get this award as it will enable NVLT to acquire the land for three new energy efficient houses that can be rented by local families so enabling them to stay in or move to our community. This will help balance the age structure, increase primary school numbers and youngsters involved in community activities. It’s a massive step for us.”
Announcing today’s awards, John Watt, Scottish Land Fund Committee Chair, said: “I am delighted to see such a wide range of projects benefitting from this latest Scottish Land Fund investment. Whether it’s buying land to build new social housing or developing an existing asset like a pub or swimming pool, each initiative shows just what can be achieved when local people area encouraged and supported to purse their community ownership ambitions.”
Sandra Holmes, Head of HIE’s Community Assets team, said: “The latest round of awards from the Scottish Land Fund will help these groups bring some important land, buildings and services into community ownership. Acquiring these will give communities the resources and control they need to deliver some really exciting projects for the benefit of the people living in and visiting their areas.”
Other projects receiving Scottish Land Fund cash today are:
Comann Eachdraidh Uibhist a' Tuath
This group will purchase the Old Carinish School and adjoining School House in North Uist to relocate their important Collections from the island of Benbecula, to make these accessible and to become an active community hub for the Gaelic Language, for learning, family history and the welcoming of visitors.
Cornerstone House, North Lanarkshire
This group will purchase a building in the town centre of Cumbernauld where they will continue to deliver existing activities including renting rooms to third sector and other organisations, delivering projects and supporting the onsite facilities. They will involve a broad range of local people in this community development to meet the social and economic needs of the community.
Unst Partnership Ltd, Shetland Islands
This group will buy its current premises at Hagdale in Baltasound to create a dedicated recycling service and second-hand shop owned and operated by members of the Unst Community. The unit will also be used as the office base for the organisation.
West Highland Museum Trust
This group will purchase a building in the centre of Fort William’s main street. In the short term, it will be rented to a charity shop but in the longer term community ownership of the building will significantly improve the access, space and visibility of the existing museum building.
Barmulloch Community Development Company, Glasgow
This group will purchase the former Barmulloch Church of Scotland in Barmulloch, Glasgow, which it currently leases. They plan in the longer term to refurbish the building to create more space for community activities and to provide training and employment opportunities.
Coldstream Community Trust, Scottish Borders
This group will purchase the ‘B’ listed five bedroom Keith House in the centre of the High Street in Coldstream to convert the building in to two affordable homes. The property has been unoccupied for ten years.
The Scottish Land Fund is keen to support more applications from across Scotland and particularly within urban areas. Groups considering applying should contact the Big Lottery Fund to discuss their idea at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 0300 123 7110.
For more information on this release please contact
Big Lottery Fund Scotland press office
Highland and Islands Enterprise Press Office
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 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.
- 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: http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk. 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 www.hie.co.uk
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