Please send me SCA's fortnightly briefing:

September 29, 2010

Community landowners come together

A year ago, representatives of twenty land owning communities held a conference in Harris to discuss a range of issues connected to land reform and in particular focused on the levels support that communities need if community landownership is to continue to grow.  The main conclusion of the conference was to explore the potential of establishing a new national representative body for community landowners that would be able to lobby on their behalf within the corridors of power.  The new body was launched yesterday

Community groups representing almost half a million acres of Scottish land are joining forces to launch a new body, Community Land Scotland today, Tuesday 28th September.

This organisation will bring communities of all sizes together to support each other in their various stages of development, to encourage the creation of new landowning communities, and to represent the views of members at all levels of local and national government.

“Today we see a coming of age for community landownership in Scotland. Following a long history to achieve a right to buy, we want to work together to build on the benefits we are seeing from the early community pioneers.” says David Cameron one of the directors of Community Land Scotland.

He added, “ You can visit areas throughout Scotland which have been in community landownership for relatively few years, and already there is evidence of new economic activity, you can feel a sense of re-invigoration, and an increasing community confidence.”

The inaugural meeting will be held today at Eden Court Theatre, where seven directors have been nominated by community groups for the board of Community Land Scotland. These directors represent communities in different types of ownership, at different stages of buy-out, and they will bring a wide range of background experience to contribute to the growth of community landownership throughout Scotland.

Sixteen community groups have already signed up as members of the new organisation including an early pioneer of community landownership; Stornoway Trust; to recent buyout groups in the Isle of Rum, and in West Harris.

Community Land Scotland’s strap line is; Promoting sustainable communities across Scotland through the ownership and active management of land.

Community Land Scotland’s vision is; By 2025, Community Land Ownership will be held as the best model for sustainable community regeneration and shall be widely supported by Government and its agencies through long term, stable and accessible mechanisms enabling purchasing and development of these assets.

Groups who have signed up as members of Community Land Scotland to date:

• Assynt Foundation
• Bhaltos Community Trust Limited
• Borve & Annishadder Township
• Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust
• Isle of Gigha Heritage Trust
• Isle of Rum Community Trust
• The Knoydart Foundation
• The North Harris Trust
• North West Mull Community Woodland Company Limited
• The Pairc Trust
• Sealladh na Beinne Mòire (Stòras Uibhist)
• Stornoway Trust
• Urras Mhangurstaigh Limited
• Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn
• Urras Sgire Oihgreachd Bharabhais Community Company
• The West Harris Crofting Trust