The Scottish Land Fund reopens for business and now includes urban areas
Wednesday 13th April, 2.00pm till 4.00pm
EDINBURGH Social Enterprise Network (ESEN) is hosting an event, next Wednesday, at the Grassmarket Community Project, to highlight and disseminate information about the Scottish Land Fund as urban areas will be able to apply for funding for the very first time.
Begins a spokesperson: “The Scottish Land Fund has now been confirmed for a further four years from April 2016 to March 2020. Success of the first two rounds of the Scottish Land Fund saw communities across Scotland buy land and buildings that were important to the future of their local area – from post offices and sports fields, to whole crofting estates and lighthouses.
“The budget for the first year of the Fund is £10m and communities can apply for support both to help prepare their acquisition project – costs of community engagement, feasibility studies, business plans and technical support – as well as capital costs.”
Speakers from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) – who are managing the Scottish Land Fund, Community Land Scotland and the Community Ownership Support Service – will all be present to talk about the funds, explain the support and the processes to social enterprises, community enterprises and community groups within the Edinburgh area.
Ailsa Raeburn, head of community assets at HIE, said: “We are seeing remarkable change across Scotland where communities have worked with us to build capacity resulting in new homes and employment.
“However, we want to ensure the message that community land buyouts are not just for remote communities in the Highlands and Islands and that community buyouts, backed by the Scottish Land Fund, are also taking place across the central belt and southern Scotland.
“Far from buying empty land, some of the community purchases have involved landmark buildings, alongside exciting plans to use the facilities to transform areas, economically.
“The Big Lottery Fund Scotland and the Community Assets Team at Highlands and Islands Enterprise are working closely to develop and support more projects such as Beith in Ayrshire.
“The former Church of Scotland residential criminal justice property has been acquired by Beith Trust, with the backing of the Scottish Land Fund, for £512,000 to buy the six-hectare site to create a magnet for tourists, businesses and the local community and will be re-positioned as a ‘Gateway to North Ayrshire’.
“By owning land, property and other assets communities can generate income, create jobs, provide vital services and undertake projects that retain and attract new people to their communities.”
Commenting on the new land reform legislation, Linsay Chalmers, development manager, Community Land Scotland, said: “This is a vital time for community-based social enterprise groups working in towns and cities to engage and understand how they can make the best of changes to the Scottish Land Fund and Community Right to Buy.
“We have already seen positive impact and change that community landownership has made across rural Scotland and now it is time to underpin this by looking at the opportunities in urban areas.”
Claire Pattullo, chief executive of ESEN, said: “We recognise that an event like this where in-depth information on the Scottish Land Fund is being shared, will help raise the scale of opportunity for social enterprises and business in urban areas overall.
“The future of social enterprises looks ever brighter with the partnership support of HIE, Big Lottery Fund, Community Land Scotland and Community Ownership Support Services – especially where businesses have identified potential for growth but the land and building requirement is proving difficult to find and acquire.”
ESEN is hosting an event at the Grassmarket Community Project on Wednesday 13th April from 2.00 till 4.00pm.
Your ticket for this important information event can be booked here.
Initial enquiries about the Fund should be made to:
Advicescotland@biglotteryfund.org.uk T: 0300 123 7110
Notes to editors:
Highlands and Islands Enterprise have 50 years’ experience of working with community groups and understand the many issues that communities can face in bringing together local people to support a project and then ensuring the group has the right resources and skills to deliver a successful outcome.
Community Land Scotland was established in 2010 as a response to the need for a collective voice for community landowners in Scotland. It is a company limited by guarantee with charitable status.
Our current membership includes Scottish community landowners – owning and managing approx. 500,000 acres between them – and aspiring community landowners of varying shapes and sizes throughout Scotland.
We represent these existing and aspiring community landowners to reflect their views in promoting changes to legislation to empower communities, while acting as a point of contact for any communities in Scotland who wish to find out more about community land ownership.
The Community Ownership Support Service, delivered by the Development Trusts Association Scotland, is funded by the Scottish Government to support the transfer of publicly held assets into community ownership. Through our team of advisers the Community Ownership Support Service can offer Scotland-wide support and advice. For more information or to discuss how we can help you contact the Community Ownership Support Service on 0131 225 2080 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For further press information contact:
Fiona Stewart/Interwoven PR/E: email@example.com
Mobile: 07940 560453
For Edinburgh Social Enterprise Network information contact:
Claire Pattullo, chief executive
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