Boost for Community Projects in Orkney, Fife, and Highlands from the Scottish Land Fund

From: Big Lottery Fund
Published: Tue Feb 28 2023

Boost for Community Projects in Orkney, Fife, and Highlands from the Scottish Land Fund

248,012 for three projects across Scotland

An area of land on Shapinsay, Orkney is set to be developed into a community hub, following a grant of 92,510 from the Scottish Land Fund.

The land at Balfour, which will be purchased by the Shapinsay Development Trust, also has potential for social housing, self-build plot and an enterprise zone for local businesses.

It is one of three awards made this month by the Scottish Land Fund that will allow groups to purchase local assets and to use them for the benefit of their communities.

Ceres Community Cafe in Fife

The other grants include Ceres Community Cafe in Fife, which has been awarded 56,042 to purchase the building that the Village Cafe has leased since 2018, allowing them to carry out repairs and expand the support they already provide to the local community.

And Aultbea Community Hub has received 99,460, allowing them to buy Aultbea Church, which they use as a community facility and to provide a range of community support activities and services, with a focus of wellbeing, arts, and entertainment.

Davie Campbell, Project Manager, Shapinsay Development Trust,said: We are delighted to receive this support from the Scottish Land Fund. This funding will allow the Trust to own and create a vital multi-purpose facility that includes all the elements within the 5-year development plan, which was shaped by the community.

This is a result of strong community support and hard work from the Trust's board and their staff'. It is an ambitious and exciting project for Shapinsay and hopefully can act as a blueprint for other communities in Orkney''.

Karen Young, Director, Ceres Community Cafe, said: We are delighted to receive vital funding from the Scottish Land Fund which will help us to secure the future of our community cafe. It will enable us to develop the caf into an even greater community hub, and to ultimately benefit the community in every way we can".

Roger Kendall, Treasurer and Trustee, Aultbea Community Hubsaid: We are extremely grateful to be awarded this grant as it enables us to retain a significant local building in community ownership. We can now turn our attention to long-term plans to re-purpose and modernise this underused building, whilst also giving security of tenure to Aultbea Men's Shed and the Royal Mail Sorting Office but still allowing the continuation of church services.

This Hub can become a unique meeting place in a repurposed building in our community for the foreseeable future.

Mairi McAllan, Minister, Environment, Biodiversity and Land Reform, said: The Scottish Land Fund is a key instrument that communities can use to take ownership over local assets. It is only right that those that know what's best for their area have a say in how local land and buildings are used - and the fund is allowing communities to do this.

We want more local community groups to get involved, which is why by 2026 the Scottish Land Fund will be doubled to 20 million which will allow us to empower even more local communities across Scotland.

I would like to congratulate the latest recipients of the Fund and I look forward to seeing the positive benefits that the new projects will undoubtably provide for their local areas.

Cara Gillespie, Scottish Land Fund Committee Chair said: The Scottish Land Fund is committed to backing projects on the ground and each one of these grants will allow the groups involved to provide much-needed local resources that will help to strengthen their communities.

Sandra Holmes, Head of Community Assets at Highlands, and Islands Enterprise (HIE) said: The successful projects announced today across Scotland are all great examples of people taking control of local resources for the long-term benefit of their communities. For example, the Shapinsay Development Trust, through the purchase of the land at Balfour, will now be in a position to deliver economic, social, and environmental benefits to the community through the provision of housing, business and community space and a community garden. This latest award for the group will further strengthen the sense of community and empowerment on the island.

All these projects announced today will help retain the population, attract visitors, and create jobs. Ownership will give the community groups greater control over important assets that will reap rewards for people now and for generations to come. We wish all the successful groups the very best in their new ventures.

Notes to Editors

  • The Scottish Land Fund is funded by the Scottish Government and delivered in partnership by the National Lottery Community 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 National Lottery Community Fund distributes National 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 National Lottery Community Fund programmes and grant awards are available on the website: National Lottery Community 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 300 people in locations around the Highlands and Islands. See more at

Scottish Land Fund

Supporting urban and rural communities to become more resilient and sustainable through the ownership and management of land and land assets.

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Company: Big Lottery Fund

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