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Scottish groups share £1.3M of Scottish Land Fund cash

A community centre that lies at the heart of one of Glasgow’s most culturally-diverse neighbourhoods and a former school on the island of Eriskay in the Outer Hebrides are two of the projects that are set to pass into local ownership thanks to grants from the Scottish Land Fund.

Trustees of Garnethill Multicultural Centre, which has been offering help and support to people from many different backgrounds since 1988, have been given £329,576 to purchase the property they occupy and carry out essential repairs, whilst Comann Eachdraidh Eirsgeidh (Eriskay Historical Society) will use their £48,234 grant to turn a former school on the island into a heritage centre and to renovate the adjacent schoolhouse so that it can be made available for rent.

Ross Donald, Centre Co-ordination, Garnethill Multicultural Centre said:

"We are delighted to have been offered this grant. Owning the building will allow us to apply for desperately needed funds to refurbish the Multicultural Centre. We've leased the building for over thirty years and now, finally, the local community can decide where the money is best spent."

Sandra MacInnes, Secretary, Comann Eachdraidh Eirisgeidh (Eriskay Historical Society) said:

"We are delighted to have been awarded the Scottish Land Fund which will give us the financial assistance to purchase the former Eriskay School from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. This will enable us to renovate the former school and utilise the space to have a dedicated exhibition area to showcase the history and heritage of the island as well as having office space for the Eriskay Ponies and a tearoom where the community and visitors can meet and socialize.”

The grants to Garnethill Multicultural Centre and Eriskay Historical Society are just two of ten totaling £1,313,841 that has been awarded to groups across Scotland during the latest round of grants from the Scottish Land Fund.

Land Reform Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said of today’s grants:

“Last week, we published statistics showing that our policy of supporting community ownership is paying off. In 2018, 37 assets came into community ownership, taking the total amount of land owned and controlled by local people to over 200,000 hectares.

Now, as we approach the end of 2019 - and just in time for Christmas – I am pleased that a further ten communities across Scotland have been given the opportunity to fulfil their ambitions. It is a reward for their hard work and commitment and I wish them the very best for the next step of their journey.”

John Watt, Scottish Land Fund Committee Chair said:

"Through these grants we have been able to support groups in both inner city areas and in some of the remotest parts of Scotland, helping local people to come together to undertake a range of activities designed to create stronger communities."

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

“Today’s successful projects are all great examples of people taking control of local resources for the long-term benefit of their communities. Comann Eachdraidh Eirisgeidh for instance, has ambitious plans to renovate the school into a modern community hub and the grant to Arisaig Community Trust will enable them to purchase land for a much-needed affordable housing development.

“Ownership will give these communities greater control over important assets and will help ensure its long-term future. We wish all the successful groups the very best in their new ventures.”

Other projects receiving Scottish Land Fund cash today are:

Newcastleton & District Community Trust

Award – £46,000

This group will take ownership of a wide range of leisure facilities surrounding the village, buying 100 acres of land that includes an 18-hole golf course, a bowling green and a large playing field.

Whitekirk Community Company

Award – £39,500

By using its grant to buy the local village hall, Whitekirk Community Company will be able to secure the future of a facility that they have been managing and maintaining for the last five years.

Millport Town Hall SCIO

Award – £51,271

This group will buy and refurbish the island’s town hall to provide space for community activities and to offer office space for rental income.

Arisaig Community Trust

Awards – £234,400 & £23,750

This group has received grants for two projects. It will use £234,000 to buy land on which to build six affordable homes and provide four discounted self-build plots as well as providing an area for business units and a community woodland. And a second grant of £23,750 will allow the Trust to buy 2.38 acres of land split between the shorefront and the village playground, with plans to create seating areas, car parking and interpretation boards for visitors, as well as reinforcing the sea wall and providing space for an orchard and allotments.

Kilmaronock Old Kirk Trust

Award – £57,110

The group will by a redundant church building and car park to make the space available for community activities, performances and events, while the adjacent church field will be developed as a space for woodland burials.

Etterick & Yarrow Community Development Company

Award – £285,000

By developing a disused steading this group will provide five affordable homes for rent to tackle a lack of housing in the local area. The plans also include office space and workshops for businesses.

Active Communities (Scotland) Ltd

Award – £199,000

This group will purchase the former police station situated in the town centre of Johnstone, Renfrewshire to develop a community led health and wellbeing hub and help them consolidate their services and activities into a central space.

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) 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 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.

Read more about this programme

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

Original article link: https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/news/press-releases/2019-12-19/scottish-land-fund-cash-for-ettrick-and-newcastletons-community-groups

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