Former primary schools in Leverburgh and Lochmaddy, as well as the resource centre in Kershader, are amongst the assets set to pass into community hands following new awards of funding totalling £1.6m by the Scottish Land Fund. 

Minister, Cabinet Secretary for Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham, said: "Communities across the country are playing a pivotal role in helping create a fairer and greener Scotland as we respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The latest round of Scottish Land Fund grants – provided to 21 different community groups – will go towards projects that will provide locals with better access to green space, encourage wildlife and support community business. With this funding being awarded during Climate Week, I look forward to these projects seizing the opportunity to help our green recovery.”

John Watt, Scottish Land Fund Committee Chair said:"Groups from all across Scotland are making a real impact to their communities with a wide range of ambitious projects that deliver tangible benefits to the people who live there, and the Scottish Land Fund is delighted to be able to support them.”  

Sandra Holmes, Head of Community Assets at HIE, said: “These successful projects announced today are all fantastic examples of people taking control of local resources for the long-term benefit of their communities. Applecross Community Company, for example, will be able to purchase, restock and improve the local woods to provide access to the community as well as buy land to build affordable homes.

“Ownership will give these communities greater control over important assets and will help ensure their long-term future. We wish all the successful groups the very best in their new ventures.”

Some projects receiving Scottish Land Fund cash are:

Applecross Community Company
Award - £137,252

The award will allow Applecross Community Company to purchase, restock and improve Togarve Community Woods and provide access for the community.

Applecross Community Company
Award - £151,500

With this award Applecross Community Company will buy land in order to build nine homes for affordable rent and four for sale with rural housing burden, along with space for an electric charging point and allotments.

Leverhulme Community Hub
Award – £49,167

By using this award to purchase the old Leverhulme Primary School, Leverhulme will be able to create a community centre with cafe, self-service laundrette, charity shop, gym, Post Office and museum of Gaelic language, culture and Harris Tweed.

North Uist Development Company
Award - £19,779

The group will use the award to buy the former Lochmaddy Primary School to use as a community hub and, in future, for accommodation.

Pairc Trust
Award - £38,500
With this money from the Scottish Land Fund, Pairc Trust will be able to take ownership of the Resource Centre in Kershader, Isle of Lewis, in order to carry on running its playgroup and childcare services and to provide space for other community groups.

Tiree Community Business Ltd
Award - £12,700

Unused land in Scarinish will be bought by Tiree Community Business Ltd in order to turn it into a sensory garden and community growing space.