Land reform investment goes nationwide with latest multi-million community grants


Support for highlands and islands movement spreads to major towns and cities 

SUPPORT FOR COMMUNITY OWNERSHIP of land and key local assets has surged in the age of devolution – with over half a million acres transferred to community groups.

Yet it’s only been in recent years that land reform policies and support has been extended across the country: meaning urban centres can now benefit from investment funding to give groups control over what matters to them. 

With further expansion in the Scottish Land Fund and the upcoming launch of the Scottish Land Commission, the latest funding announcement includes support for projects across the highlands and islands – as well as in Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Kilmarnock. In total, £2.1m has been awarded to eleven projects. 

Land Reform Secretary, Roseanna Cunningham MSP welcomed nationwide progress on land reform.

“I am delighted that so many groups around Scotland now have the opportunity to control the land that matters to them and redevelop it as a more useful and sustainable resource,” Cunningham said. “I am especially keen to see that urban groups are beginning to take advantage of the changes to the Community Right to Buy legislation and in the Scottish Land Fund.

Read more – Government minister: urban Scotland should speak out on land reform

“This funding marks a milestone for many local communities who have worked hard to design and present successful business cases for the future of their land resources.

“Groups such as Action Porty, who are looking to acquire former Portobello Old Parish Church and halls in Edinburgh, and the Copperworks Housing Association Ltd, who will revitalise the urban landscape of Royston, are great examples of how the Scottish Government’s land reform agenda can give communities the power to make a real difference.”

The historic Garbh Allt Community Initiative buyout surrounding the East Sutherland village of Helmsdale, an area hardest hit by the Highland Clearances, also received funding support of £273,000 to buy land from the surrounding giant private estate. 

Projects that received funding support are:

Blairmore Village Trust C.I.C, Argyll and Bute, £15,750

Action Porty, Edinburgh, £647,500

Copperworks Housing Association Ltd, Glasgow, £419,000

The Garbh Allt Community Initiative, Highland, £273,025

Ullapool Community Trust Ltd, Highland, £138,000

Iona Village Hall Community Trust, Highland, £36,000

Raasay Development Trust, Highland, £19,000

Findhorn Village Conservation Company, Moray, £180,500

Sanday Development Trust, Orkney, £160,818

Douglas St Bride’s Community Group, South Lanarkshire, £141,350

Kilmaronock Community Trust, West Dunbartonshire, £98,000

Picture courtesy of  Eloise Smith-Foster

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