Just under 500 Scottish communities reaping benefits of land reform
Nearly 500 community groups in Scotland own their own land as a result of new land reform policies, Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) figures have revealed.
With the Scottish Government well on its way to reaching the One Million Acres of Community Ownership target by 2020, the human impact of this reform has been demonstrated by new figures showing a total of 494 community groups in Scotland that are now in charge of their own destiny.
The approach to land reform has included an extension of the £10 million Scottish Land Fund last year beyond rural communities to support urban communities interested in buying their own land.
MSP for the Highlands and Islands, Maree Todd, said: “It’s brilliant that Scotland’s ground breaking land reform has brought over half a million acres of land into community ownership, but it’s even more impressive when you consider the human impact of this reform with nearly 500 community groups now in charge of their own destiny in Scotland.
“People are well and truly at the heart of the SNP’s land reform efforts that enable communities to thrive and make decisions about places that would often otherwise be lying derelict – and this is at the very heart of our community empowerment strategy that is aiming to make Scotland a more prosperous and fairer place to live.
“In my constituency in the Highlands and Islands, land reform empowered the Strontian community to buy their local primary school, and on the Isle of Skye where the tourist industry is booming, projects such as the Fairy Pools car park renovation have received a funding boost from the Scottish Land Fund to help develop the area and help cater to the very welcome increasing tourist numbers. Land ownership is vital to projects like these because without it, it’s impossible to be able to make improvements and reap the benefits.”