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Community groups benefit from SLF awards

Published: 28/02/2023

Three community groups across Scotland are to benefit from the latest round of Scottish Land Fund (SLF) approvals, announced this week, totalling £248,012.

The SLF is funded by the Scottish Government and delivered in partnership by the National Lottery Community Fund and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

An area of land in Shapinsay, Orkney will be developed into a community hub, following a grant of £92,510 from the SLF.

The land at Balfour, which will be purchased by the Shapinsay Development Trust, also has potential for social housing, a self-build plot and an enterprise zone for local businesses.

Aultbea Community Hub has received £99,460, allowing them to buy Aultbea Church, which they will use as a community facility and to provide a range of community support activities and services, with a focus of wellbeing, arts and entertainment.

Ceres Community Cafe in Fife, has been awarded £56,042 to purchase the building that the Village Cafe has leased since 2018, allowing them to carry out repairs and expand the support they already provide to the local community.

Sandra Holmes, head of community assets at HIE, said: “The successful projects announced today across Scotland are all great examples of people taking control of local resources for the long-term benefit of their communities. For example, the Shapinsay Development Trust, through the purchase of the land at Balfour, will now be in a position to deliver economic, social and environmental benefits to the community through the provision of housing, business and community space and a community garden. This latest award for the group will further strengthen the sense of community and empowerment on the island.

“All these projects announced today will help retain the population, attract visitors and create jobs. Ownership will give the community groups greater control over important assets that will reap rewards for people now and for generations to come. We wish all the successful groups the very best in their new ventures.”

Davie Campbell, Project Manager, Shapinsay Development Trust, said: ''We are delighted to receive this support from the Scottish Land Fund. This funding will allow the Trust to own and create a vital multi-purpose facility that includes all the elements within the 5-year development plan, which was shaped by the community.

“This is a result of strong community support and hard work from the Trust's board and their staff. It is an ambitious and exciting project for Shapinsay and hopefully can act as a blueprint for other communities in Orkney''

Roger Kendall, Treasurer and Trustee, Aultbea Community Hub said: “We are extremely grateful to be awarded this grant as it enables us to retain a significant local building in community ownership. We can now turn our attention to long-term plans to re-purpose and modernise this underused building, whilst also giving security of tenure to Aultbea Men’s Shed and the Royal Mail Sorting Office but still allowing the continuation of church services. 

“This Hub can become a unique meeting place in a repurposed building in our community for the foreseeable future.

More about the SLF awards is available on the National Lottery Community Fund news page National Lottery Community Fund news page

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