Scottish Charity Regulator logoAs well as a village shop in the Borders, a stretch of ancient woodland in South Lanarkshire and many others, our charity is one of the projects to received backing from the Scottish Land Fund.

Woodlands, village shops and an urban community centre are amongst the assets set to pass into community hands following funding by the Scottish Land Fund.

A village shop in the Borders, a stretch of ancient woodland in South Lanarkshire and a community centre in Edinburgh are amongst the projects that have received backing from the Scottish Land Fund.

Blackwood Estate Community Association has received £67,000 in order to take ownership of 65 acres of ancient woodland in order to safeguard it for the future and to improve access for residents of the nearby villages of Blackwood, Kirkmuirhill and Boghead.

Kircolm Community Trust in Dumfries and Galloway has received £53,000 to buy and reopen the village shop at the northern tip of the Rhinns of Galloway and use it as a community hub.

And North Edinburgh Arts (NEA) has been given £156,000 to buy its current premises in Muirhouse, which it intends to extend and upgrade to create more space for additional enterprise units and a larger cafe.

Victoria Connick, Treasurer and Secretary, Blackwood Estate Community Association, said: “Our trustees are delighted that the Scottish Land Fund is supporting the purchase of Loch Wood in Blackwood Estate. This will bring 65 acres of ancient woodland into community ownership, providing greater public access, a dedicated outdoor learning space and a range of opportunities for further projects, volunteering, training and employment.”

Ian Morral, Kirkcolm Community Trust, said: The Kirkcolm Community Trust were delighted to hear that their application for funds to purchase our former village shop had been approved by the Scottish Land Fund. This will enable us to develop the building for use as a community hub, facilities that we hope to offer are a large area for functions and meetings, a cafe and shop and local craft display area which will also double up as a smaller meeting area. Following the completion of the purchase it is hoped to initially have the main meeting area available for hire with the other areas to be developed in time.”

And Lesley Hinds, Chair, North Edinburgh Arts, said: “NEA has won five national awards in the last six years for place making and creative projects. This new capital project will allow the organisation to flourish, alongside Council provision, and bring a first-class facility to Macmillan Square. NEA is a special place for the community of North Edinburgh and has been a trusted community anchor providing emergency food, support, materials and online creative activities throughout the lockdown.

“Alongside our COVID activity of the last five months we have been working closely with partners to share and establish our vision of a world class creative hub for the next generation of North Edinburgh residents.  The granting of the Scottish Land Fund award is an important and welcome next step on this exciting journey.”

Minister, Cabinet Secretary for Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham, said: “Communities across the country are playing a pivotal role in helping create a fairer and greener Scotland as we respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The latest round of Scottish Land Fund grants – provided to 21 different community groups – will go towards projects that will provide locals with better access to green space, encourage wildlife and support community business. With this funding being awarded during Climate Week, I look forward to these projects seizing the opportunity to help our green recovery.”

John Watt, Scottish Land Fund Committee Chair said: ”Groups from all across Scotland are making a real impact to their communities with a wide range of ambitious projects that deliver tangible benefits to the people who live there, and the Scottish Land Fund is delighted to be able to support them.”

Sandra Holmes, Head of Community Assets at HIE, said: “These successful projects announced today are all fantastic examples of people taking control of local resources for the long-term benefit of their communities. Applecross Community Company, for example, will be able to purchase, restock and improve the local woods to provide access to the community as well as buy land to build affordable homes.

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

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