Community ownership funding paves way for purchase of 17th century estate

Community ownership funding paves way for purchase of 17th century estate

Roseanna Cunningham

A historic estate dating back to the 17th century is set to be bought by the community thanks to a grant from the Scottish Land Fund.

The Douglas Support Estate at Viewpark in Lanarkshire occupies almost 160 acres of fields and woodland, bordered by the M8.

It was previously home to Rosehall House, the foundations of which can still be seen today.

The estate, known as “Our Glen” by locals, is a green space which Viewpark Conservation Group has worked to secure the area for several years.

This is set to be the largest amount of urban land acquired to date under the Scottish Land Fund, which has given £435,800 so the community can buy the land and preserve it as a natural resource for local people and wildlife.

Grace McNeill, chairwoman of Viewpark Conservation Group, said: “We are delighted with the great news that we have been successful in our recent application.

“By bringing the estate into community ownership, we will be able to work towards improving the health and wellbeing of our community and develop its value as an educational and recreational resource.

“The Viewpark Conservation Group is very grateful to the Scottish Land Fund for the grant and for our community’s continued support and we look forward to the future, working together.”

The grant is part of a total of £1,628,610 awarded to eight groups across Scotland during the latest round of payouts from the Scottish Land Fund.

Land reform secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “This substantial set of Scottish Land Fund grants will enable eight diverse projects across the country to buy up key assets for the benefit of local people and put the ownership and responsibility of key services and facilities right at the heart of the community.”

Other projects receiving Scottish Land Fund cash today are:

Applecross Community Company

Award - £11,900

This group will purchase part of the garden of Applecross Surgery from NHS Highland and develop three two-bedroom properties for affordable housing aimed to support older people in the community.

Blackhall Community Trust Steering Group

Award - £33,750

Blackhall Community Trust, Edinburgh aim to purchase a former sports pavilion, currently used as a nursery, from Edinburgh City Council in order to provide community facilities alongside the nursery. Planned improvements include a community meeting space, sports changing facilities and activities for older people.

Tobermory Harbour Association

Award- £22,040

Tobermory Harbour Association will purchase the the Solum of Ledaig Carpark and Boatpark within Tobermory as part of long tern environmental and economic plans for the community.

Mull and Iona Community Trust - Ardura

Award - £518,420

Mull and Iona Community Trust (MICT) will purchase the 200ha Ardura Forest site, selling off mature conifer timber and replanting with broadleaf trees both for commercial timber and as an amenity woodland with car parking, paths, woodland trails and a forest school.

Community Carrot Dunbar

Award - £119,200

This group will purchase a successful greengrocer’s, which has built a business on sourcing ethical foods, cleaning supplies and beauty products, in order to strengthen its connections with local producers and increase its involvement with community groups. The shop will also be used as a hub for activities.

Deveron Projects

Award - £270,000

Deveron Projects Ltd (DP) will purchase an empty retail building in the main square of Huntly, Aberdeenshire in order to provide more space for its community activities.

The Black Bull at Gartmore

Award - £217,500

Black Bull Gartmore Hub and Pub Ltd will acquire the Black Bull Hotel premises and run it as a community owned and managed hub, café, pub, restaurant and accommodation facility, protecting this last remaining informal social space in the village from closure.

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