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Former school poised for community ownership

26 June 2014

A community group on the Isle of Skye will purchase the former Borrodale School building and grounds in Glendale, thanks to a grant from the Scottish Land Fund.

Glendale Trust will use a grant of £190,000 to acquire the property and develop it for community use. Proposals include renovating the three bedroom schoolhouse and making it available to rent; converting the school into a 16-bed bunkhouse, and constructing a community hub and children’s play area in the school grounds. The hub will host a bar and restaurant, heritage and exhibition area, as well as community laundrette, bike shed and meeting space.

Environment and Climate Change Minster Paul Wheelhouse said: “I am delighted this grant will provide a range of new facilities for the people of Glendale. This is a project that encompasses affordable housing, tourist accommodation, a community hub and a children’s play area which demonstrates the foresight and determination that communities are showing to take control of their own futures.

“The Scottish Government is committed to supporting rural communities throughout Scotland so that communities can take control of local land and land assets and we look forward to helping further communities to fulfil their aspirations as we plan for the achievement of the million acre community land ownership target for 2020. In a further commitment to rural communities, I recently announced that the Scottish Land Fund is to be extended to at least 2020 which will give greater confidence to communities to consider community land ownership and time to work up their plans.

“I wish Glendale Trust well in making their community a better places to live in, work in and enjoy.”

Announcing the funding, Scottish Land Fund Committee Chair, John Watt, said: “Communities can achieve great things when they own and manage their own land and assets. Glendale lies in the north-west of Skye and visitors drive through the village to reach one of the island’s most popular tourist destinations, Neist Point. Employment comes mainly from tourist related activities so the regeneration of Borrodale School will ultimately bring new jobs as well as volunteering opportunities. I am delighted the Scottish Land Fund is able to help this group realise its aspirations for community ownership and I look forward to seeing their future progress.”

Elgar Finlay, Local Development Officer, Glendale Trust, said: “The Scottish Land Fund award will help safeguard an important asset for the community of Glendale which has a great deal of emotional attachment to the area. The funding will also allow an ambitious project for the site to be developed further. The community is now in a fantastic position to ensure that the school site continues to contribute to the benefit of Glendale for generations to come. The Borrodale School venture is just one which has been identified in the community growth plan for the area, however, it is very closely aligned with all the other projects and in particular the Meanish Pier initiative.

“The funding is a testament to the efforts of volunteers, the Glendale Trust board, those in the community, and all the organisations and individuals who have supported and helped us reach this significant stage. It has been achieved through a huge amount of effort and commitment, and there is a great deal of satisfaction in seeing all this hard work rewarded and such an ambitious project getting closer to fruition. The work is just beginning and the real test will be to ensure that this asset delivers as much as possible for the community and area while supporting the other key projects."

  • The Scottish Land Fund has £9 million over four years to assist communities in rural Scotland to acquire, develop and manage local land and land assets. 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. Committee members are non remunerated.
  • 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

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