Growing development opportunities
Increasing the role of communities in the ownership and management of land and assets
Communities in the Highlands and Islands have a long history of doing things for themselves. They have a huge amount of talent, energy and passion for creating development opportunities for themselves. We work to empower and enable local people to take control of their own futures.
Through owning and managing land, property and other assets, communities can generate income to advance their own development, creating jobs, providing vital services, building and improving houses, and much more.
Over 534,000 acres (216,102 hectares) of land across the Highlands and Islands are now owned and/or managed by local communities including large estates, forests, shops, petrol stations, industrial units and even lighthouses. Asset-driven projects transform entire communities, and lead to long-term growth.
Through our partnership with the National Lottery Community Fund, we deliver the Scottish Land Fund which covers the whole of Scotland.
The Community Assets Knowledge Exchange programme provides funding to help community organisations take part in training and learning experiences related to owning land or buildings. Grants of up to £2,000 are available.
Community benefits are voluntary packages that businesses and developers provide to support communities. These can be financial or in-kind assistance, and both aim to empower communities to devise and deliver projects according to the needs and aspirations of the wider community.
With a buoyant and fast-paced property market it's currently more difficult for communities to buy land and buildings. To help reduce barriers in this area, we have financial support available.
Communities can apply for up to £5,000 towards the costs of investigating ownership, registering an interest and applying to purchase land and/or buildings through our Community Right to Buy Fund.
There are a variety of ways your community can be involved in running or owning an asset. Find out more in our step by step guides.
What do you need to get a community development project off the ground?
Get useful and practical advice in our toolkit. Each of our ten steps contains useful tools and resources to help you along your journey.
This is a Scottish Government funded programme delivered in partnership by HIE and the National Lottery Community Fund.
Voluntary or community organisations and public sector organisations across Scotland are eligible to apply for funding between £5000 to £1000000.
We can help you benefit from the rights you have within the Community Empowerment Act. This includes requests to be part of decision-making processes that seek to improve public services and requests to use, lease or purchase public assets.
Watch 'Our Land - Building a Future' as it traces the history of the globally recognised community land ownership movement in our region.
We have many unique aspects to life here. We can help communities benefit from them.