Argyll islands get a share in land fund pot

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The Argyll islands of Mull and Kerrera will get a £475,740 share from Scottish Land Fund’s latest £770,255 pot.

Isle of Kerrera Development Trust will be handed £119,167 to convert the former Kerrera School into a community hub for locals and visitors.

On Mull, the Mull and Iona Community Trust (MICT) will get £257,266 to purchase land adjacent to the community-owned pontoon at Ulva Ferry and develop a shore facilities building to provide a social meeting space for the community and facilities for visitors. It will have bunk rooms, office rental space, showers, toilets, laundry, car park and camper van hook-ups.

Tobermory Harbour Association (THA) will receive £99,307 to purchase the old sawmill, boathouse, pier and slipway in Aros Park on Mull, together with the surrounding land, as a springboard towards the regeneration of the area for tourists and the local community.

Martin Shields, chairman of the Isle of Kerrera Development Trust said: “We are absolutely over the moon. Taking the school into community ownership is a genuine game changer for our small island community and will provide us with a place to gather for the first time in living memory. We can’t wait to get started on the renovations so we can start using the building as soon as possible.”

Cabinet Secretary for Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham said: “I would like to extend my congratulations to the successful projects. This funding award will allow them to act on ambitious plans to give potentially under-utilised buildings and land a better use, to the current and future benefit of their local communities.”

John Watt, Scottish Land Fund Committee chairman, said: “Through repurposing vacant buildings, acquiring land in order to build new facilities and enhancing the local environment, groups from the Highlands to the Scottish Borders are using the Scottish Land Fund to realise impressive plans for land and other community assets.

“Projects like these make a big impact and not just on their local communities, they also provide inspiration to other groups who are still in the early stages of drawing up plans.”

Sandra Holmes, Head of Community Assets at HIE, added: “The awards will bring important land, buildings and services into community ownership and give them the resources and control they need to deliver exciting projects for the benefit of people living and visiting their areas. We wish them all the very best in their new ventures.”