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Scottish Land Fund cash for Fairy Pools car park purchase

The Scottish Land Fund has today announced a grant of £38,500 that will allow the Minginish Community Hall Association (MCHA) to take ownership of the car park next to the famous Fairy Pools on the Isle of Skye.

The existing traffic congestion around the popular tourist attraction, and the impact of this on local residents, has been well documented in recent times, and a decision by Forestry Enterprise Scotland to sell the land at a discounted price, under the community asset transfer scheme, was warmly welcomed earlier this month.

Today’s Scottish Land Fund grant gives the group the means to purchase the existing car park and adjacent 30 acres of woodland to make way for a new and improved car park with an additional one hundred spaces, as well as exploring the possibility of providing much needed toilet facilities.

Julie Burnett from MCHA, said: “MCHA is delighted to hear that our application to The Scottish Land Fund has been approved. The community benefit of the land purchase cannot be overstated. The project will result in residents living in Glen Brittle regaining access their homes and services without worrying about congestion. At the same time, visitors to the Fairy Pools will enjoy improved and safer facilities when visiting this beautiful area.”

Meanwhile in Argyll and Bute, two groups are celebrating their own community ownership success. Recycling Jura Islay Group (ReJIG) receives £289,389 to purchase 263 acres of forest on the Oa peninsula on Islay, while the Tiree Community Development Trust (TCDT) will take ownership of the Hynish Centre, with the help of a £154,370 award.

Welcoming the award for their Islay Community Forest Initiative, Robert Smith, Chairman of ReJIG, said: “We are hugely excited by this opportunity to have a community owned forest on Islay. We hope that this will be the start of many projects that will give the Islay community more resilience long term. Creating employment, training and volunteering opportunities in a wide range of activities is central to the forest development and we will try and squeeze every last ounce of community benefit from our wee forest while protecting it long into the future.”

Commenting on their £154,370 award, Andy Wright from Tiree Community Development Trust, explains some of the benefits of bringing the buildings and assets in Hynish under community control: “We are delighted that the Scottish Land Fund has chosen to support our project. The buildings at Hynish have an incredibly important and unique history going back 180 years. They currently provide much needed housing and employment for local people, as well as information and facilities for visitors and locals. By bringing the buildings into community ownership, we aim to secure the long-term future of these assets and build on the hard work and determination of the current owners, the Hebridean Trust, to provide further housing, employment and volunteering opportunities as well as continuing to share the unique story of these buildings in new and innovative ways.”

Announcing today’s funding, John Watt, Scottish Land Fund Committee Chair, said: “One of the many strengths of the Scottish Land Fund is its ability to respond flexibly to the individual needs of local communities. On the Isle of Skye, for example, today’s funding will help to provide a practical solution to a local infrastructure problem, while in Argyll and Bute, it will support new volunteering, training and employment opportunities that will benefit people now and in years to come.”

Cabinet Secretary for Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham, said: “The six Scottish Land Fund awards being announced today are further evidence of our strong commitment to expanding community ownership and control of key local assets. It’s especially good to see island communities taking advantage of the opportunities being opened up to them by the Fund. I know that each of the groups and the many volunteers involved with them will have worked incredibly hard to get to this point – the first big step they will take on their community ownership journey. I wish them every success.”

Sandra Holmes, Head of Community Assets for HIE, said: “Our island communities have always lead the way in community development and it’s great to see so many coming to the Scottish Land Fund with really interesting projects. With our support, we hope that these groups are able to create real opportunities for residents and visitors alike.”

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 or by phoning 0300 123 7110.

For more information on this release please contact:

Big Lottery Fund Scotland press office
0141 242 1451/1524

Highland and Islands Enterprise Press Office
01463 244244

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: 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 different website


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