Scottish Land Fund support for ten projects

Strathpeffer pavilion
Norette Ferns

Ten community ownership projects have been awarded funding from the Scottish Land Fund (SLF). 

The programme is funded by the Scottish Government and delivered in partnership by the National Lottery Community Fund and Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Among the projects to receive support is the Strathpeffer Spa Pavilion in Ross-shire, which will pass into community hands thanks to a grant of £484,550.

Strathpeffer Spa Pavilion, built in the 1880s following the discovery of sulphurous springs, will now continue to play an important role at the heart of the village where it helps to attract tourism and is a venue for weddings and community events.

Fraser Mackenzie, Chairperson, Strathpeffer Pavilion Community Trust, said:

"This is a remarkable day for the Pavilion. I'm sure the good news will not only be celebrated by the community of Strathpeffer but throughout the Highland and Island region that the pavilion has served for many years. The support from the Scottish Land Fund will ensure that these local assets are brought back into single ownership, to be owned and run by the local community in a co-ordinated and sustainable way that maximises benefit to the people that live, work and visit Strathpeffer and the surrounding rural communities.

"This will contribute to the potential for Strathpeffer to become a focus for learning, culture and heritage within Ross-shire and throughout the Highlands."

On Mull, a piece of land at Bendoran will become a water sports centre, a boat maintenance area and seaweed farm facilities allowing seaweed gathered from the seas around the island to be processed for sale.

It is estimated that the funding of £450,487 from the SLF to South West & Iona Development will lead to the creation of three full-time jobs, support local businesses and offer the potential for apprenticeships.

Morven Gibson, General Manager, South West Mull & Iona Development, said:

"The award from Scottish Land Fund will bring the land at Bendoran, historically a working boatyard, into community ownership and will result in the development of shoreside facilities for a seaweed farm and space for a watersports centre. Both projects will create employment and training opportunities and will provide a real boost to the economy of the Ross of Mull and Iona."

Minister, Cabinet Secretary for Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham said:

"This funding will enable ordinary communities across Scotland to achieve extraordinary things. By taking ownership of these assets – which range from inns, mills and woodlands in rural areas, to a social enterprise business hub in Nitshill, Glasgow – communities will open up opportunities for a whole range of projects and activities. My best wishes go to each of the groups, who have all worked hard to secure the Scottish Land Fund grants being awarded today."

John Watt, Scottish Land Fund Committee Chair said:

"Breathing new life into redundant facilities and finding new purposes for historic sites are just some of the ways in which the Scottish Land Fund is helping to support local communities across Scotland and its benefits are being felt from some of the most remote parts of the country to densely-populated urban areas."

Sandra Holmes, Head of Community Assets at HIE, said:

"Today’s successful projects are all great examples of people taking control of local resources for the long-term benefit of their communities. The Spa Pavilion for instance, is a source of great pride to Strathpeffer and is a key economic asset for the local community as a visitor attraction and providing employment. Ownership will give the community greater control over these important assets and will help ensure its long-term future. We wish all the successful communities very best in their new ventures."

Other projects receiving Scottish Land Fund cash today are:

Portree and Braes Community Trust

Award - £88,390

This group will purchase former tennis and squash courts in the centre of Portree in order to create 80 new car parking facilities and space for eight motorhomes in order to reduce congestion within the village.

Ardnamurchan Lighthouse Trust

Award - £224,900

The Trust will acquire and redevelop land and buildings surrounding the iconic lighthouse to allow it to develop the cafe, shop, exhibition space and holiday lets that it already operates on the site.

Barrhill Development Trust

Award- £135,000

Purchasing the village pub, The Trout Inn, will allow Barrhill Development Trust to retain an important amenity and to develop it for the benefit of the local economy and community.

Friends of Glenan Wood

Award - £326,750

Friends of Glenan Wood will purchase 361 acres of woodland in Cowal and the Trossachs, developing community access, creating employment for a part-time forest ranger and a development officer, and introducing a woodland management plan to safeguard the natural ecology.

Greater Pollok Enterprise Trust

Award - £332,000

This group will purchase an office building known as ‘The Wedge’, along with the ground lease of a local business park, in order to create a co-working space and a business hub that will help to support local enterprise and employment.

Palnackie Village Shop Ltd

Award - £182,250

By purchasing the sole village shop, adjoining cafe and attached 3-bedroom bungalow, this group will create a social space for isolated residents and provide affordable rental housing.

Peebles Community Trust

Award - £189,200

Peebles Community Trust will purchase the former ex-servicemen’s club in the town, currently supporting more than 100 community groups, to prevent it from being closed and in order to allow it to be used by even more organisations.

Dornoch Area Community Interest Company

Award - £405,903

DACIC will use the award to purchase the local police station and associated land in the town’s Argyle Street to create a business hub, gym, workshop space for artists and accommodation for seasonal workers.