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Dumfries and Galloway communities benefit from Scottish Land Fund cash

£362,000 for three community ownership projects
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Scottish Land Fund
Release date:
25 11 2018

Community projects across Dumfries & Galloway are set to benefit from Scottish Land Fund cash that will allow them to improve and develop facilities in their local neighbourhoods.

New Luce Community Trust receives £178,000 to purchase the Kenmuir Arms Hotel in New Luce in order to turn it into a multi-purpose community space with shop, post office, tearoom, restaurant and accommodation for cyclists and walkers on the Southern Upland Way, which passes close to the village.

Nigel Forster, Chairperson, New Luce Community Trust said: “The grant from the Scottish Land Fund will greatly help our efforts to create a combined cafe/shop/pub for our community, which currently lacks the facilities many urban areas take for granted. We intend it to become a focal building in our village which will cater for all ages and needs and provide a welcoming space where people can meet and socialise."

Wigtown & Bladnoch Community Initiative receives £130,000 to purchase the town’s Bank of Scotland building and turn it into two affordable homes and a bunkhouse for visitors. The project will also provide new employment, training and volunteering opportunities for local people.

Nick Walker, Chairman, WBCI, said: "This is fantastic news for the Initiative. It enables us to buy the former bank, so we can get on with plans for much needed affordable housing and bunkhouse holiday accommodation. It will help Wigtown flourish.”

Castle Loch Lochmaben Community Trust receives £54,000 to purchase 21 acres of woodland adjoining the grounds of the community-owned Castle Loch in to improve access to the loch and create new volunteering opportunities in woodland restoration and management.

Darren Flint, Castle Loch Project Officer, said: "We are so happy to have been successful with our Scottish Land Fund application, this now means we can extend the nature reserve and, at the same time, improve accessibility for all our visitors. Our active band of volunteers will be itching to get stuck in with creating the new footpaths and improving the woodland habitat over the coming year."

The projects are amongst ten groups across Scotland sharing in £1,646,972 of Scottish Land Fund cash and Minister, Cabinet Secretary for Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham said of today’s grants: “This is great news for the residents of Lochmaben, New Luce and Wigtown, and the other successful projects, which are fine examples of land and assets coming into community ownership, allowing local people to get the maximum benefit from them. I know that today’s funding marks a major milestone for them, and will make a real difference in helping those successful community groups to realise their ambitions - enabling communities to press ahead with their ideas, which will be of major benefit to these areas for many years to come.”

John Watt, Scottish Land Fund Committe Chair, said: “Through these grants the Scottish Land Fund is helping people from all over Scotland to make a difference in both inner city areas and in rural communities. From land purchases for amenity and the provision of affordable housing, to creating facilities for local people and visitors, these grants provide the funding to provide solutions to local needs.”

Sandra Holmes, Head of Community Assets at HIE, said: “These groups are working really hard to make their community ambitions a reality and it’s great that they have secured SLF funding to help achieve this. We are delighted to see four island communities being successful in this round. The awards will bring important assets into community ownership and give them the resources and control they need to deliver exciting projects for the benefit of people living and visiting their areas. We wish them all the very best in their new ventures.”

Other projects receiving Scottish Land Fund cash today are:

Award - £260,000
REWDT will purchase the Trumland Estate, taking 15% of this island in Orkney into community hands. The estate, which features archaeological remains including chambered cairns and a crannog, is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and community ownership will create part-time employment opportunities for a Project Officer and a Ranger as well as securing the site of the community-owned wind turbine.

Award - £229,140
This group will acquire a former schoolhouse adjacent to the existing Glenfarg Village Hall in Perthshire to create meeting rooms and a cafe in order to reduce social isolation and accommodate a variety of community services and events.

Award - £38,032
With their grant this group will purchase a piece of land opposite Hoswick Visitor Centre in Shetland in order to create additional car parking and cycle space and to install an electrical vehicle charging point as well as adding outdoor seating and an interpretation area.

Award - £187,000
Papay Development Trust will purchase a four-bed detached house on the Isle of Papa Westray in the Orkney Isles to help meet the urgent need for long-stay, affordable family homes for rent.

Award - £324,000
The group will purchase the distinctive, modernist ‘B’ listed ‘Pyramid’ of Anderston - Kelvingrove Parish Church in Glasgow in order to refurbish and reconfigure it; to make it more accessible and to maximise use of the building by new and existing community groups and social enterprises.

Award - £147,600
With cash from the Scottish Land Fund, Westray Development Trust will purchase the former Harbour Master’s house in the village of Pierowall in Westray in the Orkney Isles and transform it into four apartments for affordable rent in order to meet the acute shortage of accommodation on the island.

Award - £99,200
TDT will take over ownership of Tarves Community Hub, which this group has already converted into a community cafe, office space and meeting venue. Owing the Hub will allow the group to provide further community support.

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 advicescotland@biglotteryfund.org.uk or by phoning 0300 123 7110.

For more information on this release please contact:

SLF/Big Lottery Fund Press Office
07766 742142

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: http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk. 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 www.hie.co.uk