Local News

£433,976 Funding Boost for Two Community Housing Projects in Orkney

Two houses on Papa Westray and another house on the island of Eday are set to be bought by their local communities following grants from the Scottish Land Fund (SLF).

a long stretch of beach in Papa Westray
Papa Westray

Papay Development Trust has been awarded £208,596 to buy two houses that they will then offer for affordable rent, while Eday Partnership has received £225,380 to buy a two-bedroom property for affordable housing.

Jennifer Foley, Development Manager, Papay Development Trust said:

“Papay Development Trust is very pleased with the award of grant funding from Scottish Land Fund towards community acquisition of two second homes in Papa Westray.

“It will enable the island community to tackle the shortage of affordable housing in Papa Westray by bringing two underused housing properties into use for long-term affordable rent and will help us address challenges around population and sustainable provision of essential local services. This support from the Scottish Land Fund comes at a good time for the project and is very welcome news.”

Commenting on behalf of the Eday Partnership their Director Mellissa Thomson, Director, said: 

“Eday Partnership are delighted to receive support from the Scottish Land Fund to purchase Noneyha.

“This funding will allow the community to commence the ambitious housing programme for Eday and create much needed affordable housing on the island. These community projects are vital for remote islands in tackling challenges such as depopulation, workforce gaps and long-term sustainability. We look forward to sharing our exciting plans in the coming months.”

The grants are amongst eight, totalling £2,700,202 that have been awarded to groups across Scotland by the Scottish Land Fund, which is funded by the Scottish Government.

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

head shot of Mairi Gougeon smiling

 “The Scottish Land Fund is continuing to help community groups take control of local land and buildings and manage them in a way which benefits people in their neighbourhoods.

“By 2026 the SLF will have doubled to £20 million which will allow more groups to get involved.

“This SLF aims to place the needs of local communities first and it is clear that the most recent recipients live up to this goal. The successful projects will help to create jobs, mitigate climate change, and tackle social isolation and loneliness.

“I commend them for their efforts so far and wish them all the best in the future.”

The Scottish Land Fund supports urban and rural communities to become more resilient and sustainable through the ownership and management of land and land assets. Funding of £5000 to £1,000,000 is available.

Cara Gillespie, Scottish Land Fund Committee Chair, said

“From supporting rural housing to strengthening urban communities, the Scottish Land Fund continues to empower local people to deliver services that meet their needs. It is about listening to communities and helping them to address their unique local challenges, through ownership of land and buildings.”

The standing stone, Stone of Setter in Eday set within the treeless landscape of the island
Stone of Setter, Eday Image credit: Lis Burke

And Sandra Holmes, Head of Community Assets at 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 Great Bernera Community Development Trust in the Isle of Lewis will acquire the former salmon hatchery at Kirkibost to develop into a community-owned social and enterprise hub with space and equipment for businesses, entrepreneurs and the community. The new hub will be an important asset and helps to create a sustainable future for the area.

“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 receiving funding are:

Corstorphine Community Centre Award – £960,000

Corstorphine Community Centre will purchase Westfield House in Corstorphine, Edinburgh and will continue to use the asset as a community hub, offering a wide range of services and space for hire. CCC will make internal improvements, including increasing the accessibility of the building.

Kingsbarns Community Development Trust Award – £590,000

Kingsbarns Community Development Trust will establish a community hub, which will consist of rooms to let, pub, restaurant, cafe and community shop.

Great Bernera Community Development Trust Award – £101,447

Great Bernera Community Development Trust will acquire The Hatchery building in Kirkibost. The vacant industrial building will be developed into a social and enterprise hub where people can work, learn and create together.

Tayvallich Initiative Award – £565,608

Tayvallich Initiative will purchase land in Tayvallich, Argyll & Bute, and will use the site to deliver affordable housing for rent, along with a number of environmental initiatives.

Bute Community Land Company   Award – £32,005 
Bute Community Land Company will acquire land at Shalunt, Isle of Bute. The group will install a carpark and other infrastructure to improve the accessibility of their community owned Bute Forest.  

Evanton Community Trust Award £17,166 
Evanton Community Trust will purchase land adjacent to the community owned Victoria Diamond Jubilee Hall which will allow them to fundraise to extend the Hall and expand the support they currently provide to the local community. 

Leave a Reply