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Scottish Land Fund Marks 100th Award

The body that provides money to groups across the country to take land and buildings into community ownership celebrates an important milestone.

When they were awarded money to buy their building last November, the group behind the transformation of The Pyramid at Anderston in Glasgow into a vibrant community space became the 100th project to receive money from The Scottish Land Fund.

And as The Pyramid prepares to take legal took ownership of the ‘B’ listed Anderston Kelvingrove Parish Church, Cabinet Secretary Roseanna Cunningham went along to see for herself the impact that the project is having on the local community.

She met with Tom Moffat and Margaret Smith, local residents and trustees of the Pyramid at Anderston, together with some of the many people who take part in lunch clubs, dance classes, choirs, book clubs, knitting groups and the wide range of other activities that are held in The Pyramid every week.

The Scottish Land Fund was set up in 2016 to support community ownership of land and assets and by the time it had made its 100th award of £324,000 to The Pyramid last November it had already provided £18,591,217 worth of funding.

Since then a further 18 projects have received SLF backing, bringing the total to £21,103,828.

From rescuing village shops from closure to obtaining land for the creation of affordable homes; opening up woodland for recreation; establishing local recycling facilities; and creating meeting spaces where whole communities can gather together, the funding has enabled groups to find positive solutions for a whole range of local issues that matter most to them.

Now a map has been produce showing the geographical spread of awards, from Unst on the Shetland Islands to Glenluce in Dumfries and Galloway as well as throughout some of Scotland’s most densely-populated urban areas.

Amongst the projects which have received support since the Scottish Land Fund was launched are:

Bonnymuir Green Community Trust, Aberdeen, which received £164,750 to buy a former bowling green and pavilion in order to create a market garden and green space in the city along with a community building and cafe.

Lairg Community Initiatives, Sutherland, which received £210,000 to buy land on which to build a community-run elderly care housing and daycare facility.

Mull and Iona Community Trust, which received £257,266 to purchase land at Ulva Ferry for affordable housing.

Morebattle Village Shop, Scottish Borders, which received £143,000 to buy the village shop and Post Office.

Cairndow, Argyll, which received £37,000 to purchase land for a childcare facility.

Kirkliston, Edinburgh, which received £56,500 to buy a site for a community hall.

Tom Moffat, Chair of the Pyramid at Anderston said: “What could be better for Anderston and Finnieston than to have their very own community-owned space? There are very limited social spaces in the area and it’s the kind of informal relationships, neighbour to neighbour, which are at the heart of our vision and hopes for the Pyramid. We are delighted that this award from the Scottish Land Fund will help to ensure that the Pyramid at Anderston has a long-term future. But it’s not just about the building, it’s really about the people who use the building. This is now their place, a place for them to connect, create and celebrate - a place to work together, a place to support others for whom life is tough and a place to share skills, hobbies and talents with each other to continue you make our community a brilliant place to live.”

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

“Congratulations to all involved in transferring ownership of this wonderful building to the local people in Anderston and Finnieston.

“The Pyramid has, for many years, been a well-used, thriving centre, where the many different communities that make up this part of Glasgow can come together. I am delighted that the 100th award approved by the Scottish Land Fund has gone to this project – in an area that is as urban, vibrant and diverse as anywhere in Scotland.

“It’s great to see more and more urban projects like this one coming forward for support from the Scottish Land Fund.

“As well as helping secure the future of the building, I hope that community ownership will open up opportunities for further development and modernisation that will give The Pyramid a new lease of life.”

John Watt, Scottish Land Fund Committee Chair, said: “It is so rewarding to see a project such as the Pyramid at Anderston flourishing and knowing that the Scottish Land Fund has been able to assist them in the vital work they do in giving people within the local area a place that they can come together. It is particularly encouraging to see that this 100th award is for a project in an urban community, illustrating the importance of the Fund helping to strengthen communities all over Scotland.”

Tony Crosbie, Scottish Land Fund Operations Manager, said: “The Scottish Land Fund has been of crucial importance to the growth of community asset ownership. Funding has been awarded to a diverse range of projects, from small amenity-based projects to large and complex estate buyouts being acquired by communities. We are delighted to support community groups and work with them as they receive the resources and control they need to deliver some really exciting projects.

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: www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk. National Lottery Community Fund Public Enquiries Line call: 0300 123 7110
  • Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is an economic and community development agency implementing Scotland's Economic Strategy across a region which covers more than half the country. With around 300 staff, HIE supports hundreds of client businesses and social enterprises; strengthens communities, particularly in fragile areas; develops growth sectors, and invests in infrastructure to create a more competitive and low carbon region. 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.

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

Original article link: https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/news/press-releases/2019-03-08/scottish-land-fund-marks-100th-award

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