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Pairc Trust to take forward affordable housing plans

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Scottish Land Fund 2001
Release date:
11 1 2017

A community-led drive to boost affordable housing options in the South Lochs area of the Western Isles has today received the backing of the Scottish Land Fund. The Pairc Trust receives £50,621 to purchase the former Elderly Care Unit at Gravir which it will renovate to provide an affordable family home for rent.

The Trust is one of four organisations today sharing in £174,638 from the Scottish Land Fund, adding to the diverse mix of projects that have received awards since it reopened in April 2016. Joining the Pairc Trust are: Kirkliston Village Hall Association on the outskirts of Edinburgh, Crossroads Community Hub in East Ayrshire and Cairndow Community Childcare Ltd in Argyll and Bute (see details below).

The Pairc Trust is already a Scottish Land Fund success story having previously received £230,000 to complete the purchase of the 26,775 acre Pairc Estate on behalf of the local community.

Welcoming today’s award of £50,621, Angus McDowall, Chair of Pairc Trust, said: “We are delighted that our application to the Scottish Land Fund has been successful. This funding will enable us to purchase an empty property and bring it back to life as an affordable family home. We are convinced that the first step in tackling the population decline in Pairc is to provide affordable housing, and this is a priority for Pairc Trust.”

Announcing today’s Scottish Land Fund awards, John Watt, Scottish Land Fund Committee, said: “The Pairc Trust is one of 62 community initiatives across Scotland to have received Scottish Land Fund money since it reopened in April 2016. This takes its spend to over £1.9 million this financial year, and with more than 200 groups from across Scotland working up ideas for applications, we know that there is a great demand for this funding.  From affordable housing in the Western Isles to a new build community hub near Edinburgh, today’s successful initiatives show just what can be achieved when local people are encouraged and supported to purse their ambitions of community ownership.”

Cabinet Secretary Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham, said: “I am delighted to see that the Scottish Land Fund is continuing to support communities to realise their ambitions of land and land asset ownership and it is particularly encouraging to see the diversity of applications the Fund receives.”
The Pairc Trust have shown great determination over the years and I am pleased to see they are continuing their work to improve the future of their community.  The Scottish Government has committed to maintain the Scottish Land Fund at its current level and I would encourage other communities to contact the Fund to discuss their own ideas.”

Sandra Holmes, HIE’s sector lead for community assets, said: “The Scottish Land Fund exists to provide funding and support to communities who are looking to breathe new life into their area by acquiring assets. I’m delighted to see this project by Pairc Trust moving forward and I’m confident that it will help grow the local population by providing a much needed affordable house for rent.”

The Scottish Land Fund is keen to support more applications from across Scotland and particularly within urban areas. Groups considering applying should contact the Big Lottery Fund to discuss their idea at advicescotland@biglotteryfund.org.uk or by phoning 0300 123 7110.

Other Scottish Land Fund grants announced today are:

Kirkliston Village Hall Association
Award: £56,500
This group will purchase an area of land in the centre of the village of Kirkliston, on the outskirts of Edinburgh to develop the site for a new community facility.

Cairndow Community Childcare Ltd
Award: £37,000
This group will purchase 0.7 acres of a former coniferous plantation near Loch Fyne, Clachan, Argyll.  They plan to develop the site for a new-build childcare facility and community resource centre.

Crossroads Community Hub Ltd
Award: £30,517
This group will purchase the vacant site of the former Primary School at Crossroads, East Ayrshire, to develop a new community hub.   This will incorporate a community-led farm shop, coffee shop with teaching kitchen meeting/workshop space and a social/learning hub. 

Big Lottery Fund Scotland press office
landa.sullivan @biglotteryfund.org.uk
0141 242 1458

Highland and Islands Enterprise press office
01463 244244

Notes to editors

  • The Scottish Land Fund reopened to applications in April 2016. The programme is funded by the Scottish Government and delivered in partnership by the Big Lottery Fund and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, both of which have extensive experience of helping communities to acquire and develop their assets for over a decade.
  • The SLF Committee was appointed following the normal procedures for public appointments.
  • The BIG Lottery Fund distributes lottery funding to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK. It also uses its expertise in grant-giving to distribute non-Lottery funding. Full details of the BIG Lottery Fund programmes and grant awards are available on the website: http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk. BIG Lottery Fund Public Enquiries Line call: 0300 123 7110.
  • Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) delivers the Scottish Government Economic Strategy across more than half of Scotland - from Shetland to Argyll and from the Hebrides to Moray. It aims to support businesses and social enterprises; strengthen communities and fragile areas; develop key sectors, and create the conditions for a competitive and low carbon region. HIE has an annual budget of more than £75m and employs around 250 people in locations around the Highlands and Islands. See more at www.hie.co.uk