Community groups in Kirkcaldy and North Uist are today (THURS 4 AUGUST) celebrating grants from the Scottish Land Fund.
Greener Kirkcaldy will purchase the former Central Area Library HQ near Kirkcaldy town centre, thanks to a grant of £202,800. Once in community ownership, they will develop the premises, which will house the Kirkcaldy Community Food Hub offering a range of training, employment, work experience and volunteering opportunities around food production and preparation.
Suzy Goodsir, Greener Kirkcaldy's Development Manager, said: "We're delighted to be awarded this funding to help us take forward our plans for the Food Hub project. The Food Hub will be a lifelong learning and employability initiative. The project will centre on a fully equipped training kitchen with eight workstations, and a small kitchen garden and it will give our community a place to come together to cook, eat and learn about healthy, sustainable food."
On the island of Grimsay, North Uist, the Grimsay Community Association receives £164,900to purchase the former Grimsay Free Church Mission House. The adjacent former Church is already in community ownership, thanks to a previous Scottish Land Fund grant, and has been converted into a busy community centre. This new grant will reunite an historic site and provide new opportunities for the people of Grimsay.
Matthew Topsfield of the Grimsay Community Association, said: "Acquiring the mission house site was a once in a lifetime chance, and we thank the Scottish Land Fund for doubly supporting the creation of the centre at Ceann na h-Airigh. This will enable our community to build on our natural and cultural resources, preserving our heritage and creating new opportunities for the island. Grimsay has always been self-reliant and resilient: Ceann na h-Airigh can now become a true Anchor for Grimsay.”
Announcing today’s awards, John Watt, Scottish Land Fund Committee Chair, said: “We know from experience that communities can achieve great things when they own and manage local land and land assets. This applies to both urban and rural communities across Scotland, so I am delighted to announce funding for two communities which will enable them both to follow the path of ownership. On the island of Grimsay the funding will help the local community complete its plans for full community ownership of the Grimsay Free Church and the adjoining land, while in Kirkcaldy it will help to create new training and employment opportunities through a community owned sustainable asset.”
Cabinet Secretary Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham, said: “I am delighted the Scottish Land Fund has again awarded grant funding to support community led projects in Kirkcaldy and North Uist, allowing them to acquire and manage land and assets. The Scottish Land Fund is a great way to progress these ambitions and the Scottish Government is committed to supporting communities to become more resilient and sustainable through this route. I would encourage community groups to contact the Fund, via Big Lottery Scotland, to discuss their aspirations and look forward to seeing more communities throughout Scotland benefiting from this funding.”
Sandra Holmes, HIE’s sector lead for community assets, said: “Land and buildings can be vital resources in the development of resilient communities. Under community ownership they can be used to create opportunities to develop valuable local services, generate community income and provide environmental benefits. Such benefits are particularly valuable in rural communities such as in North Uist. It’s great to see the Grimsay Community Association acquire additional property in Scotvein, and we look forward to the local benefits this will bring.”
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.
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