Scottish Land Fund to open in April
The new Scottish Land Fund will open on 1 April 2016, with £10 million available to help community-buyouts.
Land Reform Minister Dr Aileen McLeod announced the opening of the fund as the Scottish Government's Land Reform Bill reached its final stage of the parliamentary process.
The Minister urged communities to consider whether owning the land they live and work on could mean it could offer greater benefit for local people.
Dr McLeod said:
"Land is one of Scotland’s most valuable assets and owning land can help communities realise their aspirations and dreams, make a real difference to long term sustainability and build stronger, resilient and supportive communities.
"Each community has its own set of reasons for wanting to take on the ownership of land. The important thing is that communities are able to make the right choice for them in order to meet local needs and further sustainable development in their local area. This is why we have restructured the fund to ensure support is available to communities from the idea stages right through to project development. I want to spread the word about the benefits that can be achieved through community ownership of land and encourage both urban and rural communities to apply to the Scottish Land Fund."
The Lad Reform (Scotland) Bill has been passed by the Scottish Parliament this week.
The Bill will:
- allow Ministers to create a public register of those with a controlling interest in land and increase the transparency around land ownership
- encourage and support responsible, diverse land ownership
- address issues of fairness, equality and social justice connected to the ownership of, access to and use of land in Scotland
- introduce a new process to sell or assign farm tenancies, creating a secure route out of farming for those without a successor