Community right to buy reaches 500,000 acre milestone
Cabinet secretary for land reform Roseanna Cunningham has announced that more than 500,000 acres in Scotland are now in community ownership.
The milestone marks the half way point on the million acres community right to buy target for set in 2013.
Ms Cunningham said: “Land is one of our most valuable assets and land reform has already delivered significant benefits to rural and increasingly urban communities across Scotland.
“Land ownership by communities has been going from strength to strength and there are some impressive examples of community buyouts throughout the country especially in the islands, including the Pairc Trust in South East Lewis that has helped us reach the half way mark in our ambition to ensure that one million acres in Scotland are in the hands of communities and working to the benefit of all.
“The 28,000 acres in the Pairc Estate community buy out, for example, will help to reverse a century of population decline by providing additional local jobs, more affordable good housing, and better community facilities to improve the quality of life for all local residents.
“We remain ambitious, and today’s milestone marks only the half-way point on our journey to ensuring that one million acres moves into community hands – but it is an encouraging and important step forward in our land reform journey.
“It is also only part of our wider and on-going programme of reform across Scotland. A land rights and responsibilities statement and a Scottish Land Commission will follow. We will also support landowners to better engage with communities and will shortly begin to implement the act’s agricultural holdings provisions, helping tenant farmers.
“Together these steps will begin to ensure that land in Scotland delivers benefit for everyone.”