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Funding Boost For Shapinsay Housing Project

Shapinsay Development Trust has been awarded £190,881 from the Scottish Land Fund to acquire a cottage in the island and develop it as part of its wider community housing project on the island.

Davie Campbell, Project Manager, Shapinsay Development Trust, said: 

“We are delighted to receive support from the Scottish Land Fund to purchase Balfour cottages.

“This funding will allow the trust to build on the success of Phase 1 of our housing programme for the island and create much needed affordable housing for the people of Shapinsay. These community projects are vital for remote islands in tackling challenges such as depopulation and long-term sustainability. We look forward to sharing our exciting plans in the coming months.”

Shapinsay Ferry credit K Armet

The grant made to the group was one of eight, totaling £1,337,182 that have been announced following the latest round of funding by the Scottish Land Fund.

Mairi McAllan, Minister, Environment, Biodiversity and Land Reform in the Scottish Government, said: 

“Communities know best what’s right for them including when it comes to the ownership and use of local land and buildings.

“With support from the Scottish Land Fund, which will be doubled to £20 million by 2026, more communities across Scotland are taking ownership of local assets – helping to create jobs, mitigate climate change, and tackle social isolation and loneliness.

“It’s great to see more groups being supported to bring their vision for thriving community assets to life – I congratulate the recipients of the funding and wish them every success for the future.”

Funded by the Scottish Government and delivered in partnership by The National Lottery Community Fund and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, it offers grants of up to £1 million to help communities take ownership of the land and buildings that matter to them, as well as practical support to develop their aspirations into viable projects.

Scottish Land Fund

Cara Gillespie, Scottish Land Fund Committee Chair said: 

“From projects that will create rural housing to shops offering vital services and open spaces that play an important role in community life, this round of grants from the Scottish Land Fund will help to strengthen diverse communities across Scotland.”

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

Suitable for Voluntary or community organisations, Public sector organisations

Funding size £5000 to £1,000,000

Application deadline


Scottish Land Fund

Sandra Holmes, Head of Community Assets at Highlands and Islands Enterprise, 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.

“Thurso Community Development Trust in Caithness, for example, will be able to acquire the building that they are currently based in and have created a ‘climate’ hub, which hosts a zero-waste shop offering sustainable, plastic free shopping. Their ‘Socially Growing’ project profits are reinvested in the community as well as in skills and training and will help them in their aim to lead Thurso to become Scotland’s first net zero town.

“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.”

Other groups in Scotland receiving funding today are:

 Thurso Community Development Trust

Award – £98,812

Thurso Community Development Trust (TCDT) will acquire a building in Thurso, Caithness where it will create a “climate hub” hosting a zero-waste shop, office, workshop, and storage space.

Uig Development Trust

Award – £19,420

Uig Development Trust (UDT) will purchase a development plot in Eireastadh, Isle of Lewis for the purpose of creating an amenity area for community use and constructing between 5 and 9 business units to be rented to new and existing businesses on the island.   

Glen Urquhart Rural Community Association

Award – £135,936

Glen Urquhart Rural Community Association will purchase Blairbeg Community Wood in Drumnadrochit to create pathways to improve connectivity across the community, increase biodiversity, and offer an outdoor space next to the local community hall.

Newstead Village Community Trust

Award – £73,030

Newstead Village Community Trust will purchase the Village Green in Newstead, Scottish Borders, to develop the space as a local amenity for the community.

Dunbar Community Bakery

Award – £124,560

Dunbar Community Bakery will purchase the shop they currently trade from on Dunbar High Street, to continue to provide a community bakery and training opportunities for young people.

North Arran Community Benevolent Society

Award – £483,643

North Arran Community Benefit Society will purchase the Lochranza Hotel in Lochranza, Arran. They will operate it as a community inn with a bar and community space to combat rural isolation and provide a year-round meeting space for the community, as well as providing staff accommodation.

Nith Valley Leaf Trust

Award – £210,900

Nith Valley Leaf Trust will acquire the village shop and accompanying house in Closeburn, Dumfries. The group will manage the shop to continue the delivery of a range of essential local services.

Image credit Bell

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