Grants for projects across Scotland during Community Land Week

From: Big Lottery Fund
Published: Tue Oct 17 2023

A community centre in Aberdeen, a village shop in Plockton and a resource hub in Speyside are all set to benefit from the Scottish Land Fund.

£1,968,921 for 11 projects across Scotland

Great Western Community Trust

Great Western Community Trust in Aberdeen has received £425,154 to purchase Holburn West Church and manage it as a community venue that will host a wide range of groups and activities.

The award is one of 11 made during the most recent round of funding from the Scottish Land Fund and the announcement comes during an extended Community Land Week (13 - 29 October), which community landowners across the country are marking with events and celebrations.

The Scottish Land Fund reopened to applications in 2021. The programme 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.

Other grants awarded during the current round of funding include £90,459 to Plockton & District Community Trust to acquire the Old Post Office in Plockton, Lochalsh, from which the group will continue to provide community services while developing the building as a multi-use community space; and £118,663 has been awarded to The Grantown Society in Grantown-On-Spey, to allow them to purchase the former SSE Hydro building in the town and turn it into a multi-use resource hub and visitors' centre.

Martin Greig, trustee, Great Western Community Trust, said:

"We are extremely grateful for the generous award from the SLF. The funds will make a huge difference to the benefit of the local community. The project has enormous support from residents. They have said again and again that the area needs this kind of public facility. Thanks to the SLF, this splendid building can now remain at the heart of the community."

Alasdair Mackenzie, Vice Chairman, Plockton & District Community Trust, said:

“We are delighted to secure SLF support to bring this much loved building in the heart of our village into community ownership. We're a new organisation and this is our first asset, so it's a real boost for us. There has been informal use of the building for over 20yrs, but this purchase safeguards it for the community. We can now press on with our plans to improve the fabric of the building. Without SLF support none of this would be possible.

And Bill Sadler, Chairman, The Grantown Society, said:

“Grantown's No 2 High Street, latterly SSE Hydro Shop, which has lain empty for over seven years, was once a thriving grocer's shop, situated on what became known as “Rimmington's Corner”; a favourite meeting place for locals,  Now, with thanks to the Scottish Land Fund, The Grantown Society is bringing it back to life as a warm and welcoming Community Resource Hub with  rentable "pop-up” retail space, community information, an ATM and gigabit Wifi with available desk space.”

Mairi Gougeon, Cabinet Secretary, Rural Affairs, Land Reform and Islands, said:

“Many people and community organisations know exactly what their local areas need but may lack the funding to make their visions a reality.

“This is why the Scottish Land Fund is so important. It allows community groups to realise their goals and unlock the full power of community actions. It is a prime example of our plans to ensure that Scotland's land is used in a way that benefits everyone.

“I want to congratulate the latest recipients. I know that their projects will prove hugely beneficial to their respective communities. I also want to encourage any other organisations who may be eligible to apply to the Scottish Land Fund.”

Cara Gillespie, Scottish Land Fund Committee Chair said:

“The groups receiving funding today have all clearly identified opportunities to help their locality to thrive. By establishing new or securing existing shops, work spaces, social hubs and leisure facilities they are helping their communities become more cohesive and sustainable places to live.”

And Douglas Cowan, Director of Communities and Place at HIE, said:

“These successful projects are all great examples of people taking control of local resources for the long-term benefit of their communities. All these projects announced today will help to deliver local community priorities. Ownership will give them greater control over important assets that will reap rewards for people now and for generations to come. We wish all the successful community organisations the very best in their new ventures.”

Click here for the full press release

Company: Big Lottery Fund

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