A community initiative in Barmulloch, Glasgow is the first to receive funding from the new Scottish Land Fund, following the decision to open the programme to both rural and urban projects.
The Barmulloch Community Development Company (BCDC) receives £85,000 to purchase the former All Saints Church and associated church house, known locally as the Broomfield Road Centre. The centre currently houses a popular boxing gym, Money Advice Centre and training/meeting rooms, all of which will continue to flourish when the premises are brought into community ownership.
BCDC currently lease the property but ownership will mean they can look towards a more sustainable future with plans to modify and refurbish the buildings. This will create more space for additional services and activities, while plans to build small industrial units to the rear of the building will provide new employment opportunities and an additional source of income to support further community activities.
As well as supporting the acquisition, the award will enable BCDC to employ a new part time development officer for two years.
Welcoming the award, Jim Hope, Development Officer of BCDC, said: “We are delighted and proud to be the first urban group to receive an award from the Scottish Land Fund. The award, to acquire a former church scheduled for demolition, will have a major impact on an area of multiple deprivation. It will create much needed space for community activities, will preserve a much loved local landmark and will help to create a greater pride in the community.
“It also represents a huge boost to BCDC’s efforts to increase its services to local people and to ensure the sustainability of its operations.”
John Watt, Scottish Land Fund Committee Chair, added: “I am delighted to welcome Barmulloch Community Development Company as the first urban project to benefit from the Scottish Land Fund. Community Ownership is a viable option for many local communities across Scotland giving them more control over the management and development of locally important land and buildings. BCDC will now transform its ambition into reality along the way contributing to the future sustainability and development of the local area.”
Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham, said: “It is great to see the first awards from the new Scottish Land Fund being allocated to communities across the country. The Scottish Land Fund is making a real difference to many local communities across Scotland helping community groups to purchase their own assets. The Barmulloch Community Development Company is the first community group to receive an urban grant award to purchase community space in Broomfield Road. This funding will allow the local community to drive forward regeneration and renewal in the area and secure the future use of this facility.”
Ailsa Raeburn, Head of Community Assets at Highlands and Islands Enterprise, said: “It’s great to see an urban community benefitting from the Scottish Land Fund for the very first time. New powers for communities under the Community Empowerment Act mean that any community whether they are based rurally or in the city centre of Glasgow can now apply to the Scottish Land Fund and acquire land and buildings that are important to them. I look forward to seeing the positive impact the funding will have on Barmulloch Community Development Company’s local area.”
The Scottish Land Fund was relaunched in March 2016. As part of this refresh, the programme was expanded to apply to both urban and rural projects.
A second Scottish Land Fund award is also announced today to Moffat Community Woodlands, which receives £171,622 to purchase 33.4 hectares of local woodland on Gallow Hill in Dumfries and Galloway.
Source: Big Lottery Fund Scotland