This is the full press statement issued today, Saturday, June 13th:

Bid to take moorland into community hands backed by Scottish Land Fund

£3,669,762 for 16 community ownership projects

Part of Langholm Moor in the Scottish Borders is set to pass into community hands following an award from the Scottish Land Fund.

Across the country, 16 community groups are today (SATURDAY 13 JUNE) sharing in £3,669,762 (See the full list of awards at the end of this release).

Newcastleton & District Community Trust (NDCT) has received £850,000 in order to take ownership of 750 acres of land on the Tarras Water and Holm Hill Estate from Buccleuch Estates.

The land is important strategically to Newcastleton, allowing the community control over its future development.  This is particularly important after devastating floods hit the village in February this year.  Control of land around the village will assist with flood prevention while development plans will allow for improved public access, a local energy network, sympathetic development of forestry and continued farming. NDCT have played a vital role in supporting their community through first the flooding then the Covid crisis, offering practical help with hardship and wellbeing.

Meanwhile, a further £1,000,000 has been awarded to The Langholm Initiative in Dumfries and Galloway, which has ambitious plans to take over a much larger area of the Langholm Moor and turn it into a community-owned nature reserve, with peatland restoration, ancient woodland regeneration and protection for breeding Hen Harriers.

Steve Hartley, Chair, NDCT, said: “Community ownership of this land, much of it still used today as it was over 225 years ago, now gives us all a bigger, brighter and more sustainable future. This will continue to include farming, but the community also wants to develop new leisure and renewable sectors, spreading the benefits of community ownership to everyone who lives here.”

And Kevin Cumming, Langholm Initiative Project Leader, said “The Langholm Initiative appreciates the offer of an award made by the Scottish Land Fund. It leaves us with a long way to go to succeed, but we are excited to work on securing the rest of the funding.”

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

Minister, Cabinet Secretary for Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham said: The COVID-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented global crisis which has fundamentally changed every aspect of our lives and will do so for some time to come. Communities across the country, whilst impacted in so many ways by the lockdown, are playing a vital role in responding to the crisis and maintaining our resilience, our sense of spirit and local support network.

“As we plan our recovery from coronavirus, we have a chance to re-imagine the Scotland around us and to begin building a greener, fairer and more equal society and economy. Communities must be right at the heart of this process and the funding announced today will support a wide range of projects to achieve just this, driving long-lasting benefits and empowerment to local communities.”

John Watt, Scottish Land Fund Committee Chair saidThe Scottish Land Fund supports inner-city projects as well as those in rural areas, but this particular round of funding has given a boost to communities in some of Scotland’s most remote areas, allowing communities to take control of the resources that surround them and make local decisions about how these are used.”

Sandra Holmes, Head of Community Assets at HIE, said: “The successful projects announced today are all great examples of people taking control of local resources for the long-term benefit of their communities. Kyleakin Connections will purchase their rented premises, providing security and enabling an expansion to accommodate wider community use and Colonsay Community Development Company will be able to purchase property to develop into much needed temporary accommodation for key workers and families. Ownership will give these communities greater control over important assets and will help ensure its long-term future. We wish all the successful groups the very best in their new ventures.”


Other projects receiving Scottish Land Fund cash are:

Colonsay Community Development Company Award – £214,000
The award will allow CCDC to purchase a former Baptist manse, which it plans to develop into temporary accommodation for key workers and families on the island.

Dunnet Forestry Trust Award – £45,950
Dunnet Forestry Trust plans to purchase 260 acres of forest, which it currently manages on behalf of Scottish Natural Heritage, in order to add to a successful wood fuel and wood products business by developing a community amenity for the Dunnet area.

Shapinsay Development Trust Award – £237,125
With this award, SDT will purchase two properties, which they plan to develop as affordable rented housing for residents on the island.

Kyleakin Connections (formerly Skye and Lochalsh Association for Disability) Award – £24,580
This funding will enable Kyleakin Connections, which provides a day centre for adults with learning difficulties, to purchase its current home in the Old School House, Kyleakin from Highland Council so that it can expand and develop the premises.

South Islay Development Award – £110,200~
With this money the group will purchase Port Ellen Playing Fields with plans to upgrade it into an activity park and campsite.

Stronsay Development Trust Award – £130,790
By using this award to purchase a three-bedroom property, SDT will be able to provide affordable housing on the island.

The Ballantrae Trust Award – £262,493
This grant will allow Ballantrae Trust to purchase the Kings Arms Hotel in order to run it as a community-led social enterprise, offering flexible spaces for locals and visitors.

Cliftonville & Coatdyke Community Group Award – £190,690
Using this grant, CCCG will acquire Coatbridge Indoor Bowling Stadium in order to renovate and extend it in order to better meet the needs of the community.

Dornoch Area Community Interest Company (DACIC)  Award – £216,411
This project by the Dornoch Area Community Interest Company will acquire a former abattoir site in order to establish community facilities, including a community centre with curling barn, car parking, games area and golf driving range.

Strathglass and Affric Community Company Award – £38,588
Strathglass and Affric Community Company intend to purchase a former nurses’ home in Cannich and develop it into two homes for social rent.

All Roads lead to Whithorn Trust Award- £110,635
This group will purchase the former Grapes Hotel in Whithorn, Dumfries and Galloway to convert it into affordable rented housing.

Friends of Dundonald Castle  Award – £29,000
With this grant FoDC aims to acquire Dundonald Castle Visitor Centre, which it currently operates, from South Ayrshire Council and develop it to provide a new community facility.

North Ronaldsay Trust Award – £159,400
The Trust will use the award to acquire a house, garage with a workshop, shop, outbuildings and eight acres of agricultural land in order to convert these into a community facility, enterprise hub, commercial unit and affordable housing.

The Ridge SCIO Award – £49,900
With this grant The Ridge SCIO will purchase land and buildings at Black Bull Close, Dunbar to develop a space for community service, including training, volunteering and gardening.

Ends Copy//

For more information on this release please contact
SLF/National Lottery Community Fund Scotland Press Office
07766 742142

Highland and Islands Enterprise Press Office
01463 244244

Notes to Editors

  • The Scottish Land Fund reopened to applications in April 2016. 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.
  • The SLF Committee was appointed following the normal procedures for public appointments.
  • The National Lottery Community Fund distributes 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

Issued: 12 June 2020