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Tarras Valley shares in funding from Scottish Land Fund

£1,000,000 for Tarras Valley Nature Reserve

The Langholm Initiative is set to purchase 5,236 acres of moorland and farmland between Langholm in Dumfries & Galloway and Newcastleton in the Scottish Borders, following an award of £1,000,000 from the Scottish Land Fund.

The land will become part of the Tarras Valley Nature Reserve, where the trust is working to regenerate the landscape in order to create employment and tourism, restore upland habitats, support wildlife species including the rare hen harrier and help fight climate change.

Margaret Pool, Chair, The Langholm Initiative, said: “We could not have wished for a better result. This generous grant from the Scottish Land Fund will help us to deliver on the promise we have made to our community.

By implementing a programme of ecological restoration, wildlife conservation, community regeneration and by establishing a form of renewable energy, we hope to make a significant contribution to climate change.

“This is an important step for Langholm Initiative, the Tarras Valley Nature Reserve and for future generations.”

The funding is one of three awards that have been handed out to urban and rural projects following the latest round of funding from the Scottish Land Fund.

Mairi McAllan, Minister, Environment and Land Reform, said: “The Scottish Land Fund grants are an important vote of confidence in the future of communities, enabling them to take ownership of local land and assets.

“This latest round of funding will support innovative projects helping to protect nature, create jobs in rural areas and tackle social isolation and loneliness.

“Communities know best what is needed in their own areas, and that is why they should have the power to decide the future of the land and buildings that matter to them.”

Cara Gillespie, Scottish Land Fund Committee Chair said: “We are delighted to be able to continue to support communities to take greater control of their future through community ownership. The award to Langholm Initiative, and the excellent work that community is leading, shows just what is possible. We hope they and the other communities supported in this funding round will inspire others to think strategically and ambitiously about the land and assets in their areas.”

Sandra Holmes, Head of Community Assets at HIE, said: “These successful projects announced today across Scotland are all great examples of people taking control of local resources for the long-term benefit of their communities. Port Gordon Community Trust, for example, will be able to purchase a hotel in the Moray village, which will be developed into a community hub and café and will benefit local people and visitors. Ownership will give the community groups greater control over important assets that will reap rewards for people now and for generations to come. We wish all the successful groups the very best in their new ventures.”

Other groups in Scotland receiving funding today are:

Portgordon Community Trust

Award - £155,498

This group will purchase the former Richmond Arms Hotel in Portgordon, Moray, to be developed into a community hub and cafe as a way of addressing rural isolation and providing community and visitor facilities. 

Cranhill Development Trust

Award - £158,336

With this award, Cranhill Development Trust in Glasgow will purchase the building it currently leases and the land surrounding it in order to continue to provide activities and services to the local community, focusing on health, wellbeing, and employability along with welfare, learning and development.

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: National Lottery Community Fund Public Enquiries Line call: 0300 123 7110

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) delivers Scotland’s National Strategy for Economic Transformation 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

Channel website:

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