Scottish groups share £1.3m of Scottish Land Fund cash
Garnethill Multicultural Centre, Comann Eachdraidh Eirsgeidh (Eriskay Historical Society) and a housing project in Arisaid are set to benefit from receiving a share of £1.3 million of funding from the Scottish Land Fund.
Trustees of Garnethill Multicultural Centre, which has been offering help and support to people from many different backgrounds since 1988, have been given £329,576 to purchase the property they occupy and carry out essential repairs.
Comann Eachdraidh Eirsgeidh (Eriskay Historical Society) will use their £48,234 grant to turn a former school on the island into a heritage centre and to renovate the adjacent schoolhouse so that it can be made available for rent.
Arisaig Community Trust has also received two grants totalling £258,150 to buy land for new housing and to acquire ownership of the shore-front in order to upgrade it for residents and visitors.
The grants to Garnethill Multicultural Centre and Eriskay Historical Society are just two of ten totalling £1,313,841 that has been awarded to groups across Scotland during the latest round of grants from the Scottish Land Fund.
Ross Donald, centre co-ordination, Garnethill Multicultural Centre, said: “We are delighted to have been offered this grant. Owning the building will allow us to apply for desperately needed funds to refurbish the Multicultural Centre. We’ve leased the building for over thirty years and now, finally, the local community can decide where the money is best spent.”
Sandra MacInnes, secretary, Comann Eachdraidh Eirisgeidh (Eriskay Historical Society), added: “We are delighted to have been awarded the Scottish Land Fund which will give us the financial assistance to purchase the former Eriskay School from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. This will enable us to renovate the former school and utilise the space to have a dedicated exhibition area to showcase the history and heritage of the island as well as having office space for the Eriskay Ponies and a tearoom where the community and visitors can meet and socialize.”
Pamela King, director, Arisaig Community Trust, said: “This is a very exciting award for Arisaig and will enable us to purchase three separate areas of land in the village, bringing them into community ownership for the first time. We have developed plans for a community-led housing project, which will prioritise owner-occupied residences and provide affordable, sustainable homes for rent in the village.
“A multi-use playing field, playpark and adjoining area, which we would like to turn into a new orchard, will also be bought with this award as well as a considerable part of the village shore-front, which we will improve with better parking, pathways, seating and amenities. This will enhance the area for both residents and visitors, supporting the local economy with new homes and helping ensure tourism is managed sustainably. It is a fantastic opportunity for people to get involved in real and direct change in the village.”
Land reform secretary Roseanna Cunningham, commented: “Last week, we published statistics showing that our policy of supporting community ownership is paying off. In 2018, 37 assets came into community ownership, taking the total amount of land owned and controlled by local people to over 200,000 hectares.
“Now, as we approach the end of 2019 - and just in time for Christmas – I am pleased that a further ten communities across Scotland have been given the opportunity to fulfil their ambitions. It is a reward for their hard work and commitment and I wish them the very best for the next step of their journey.”
John Watt, Scottish Land Fund Committee chair, said: “Through these grants we have been able to support groups in both inner-city areas and in some of the remotest parts of Scotland, helping local people to come together to undertake a range of activities designed to create stronger communities.”