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July 11, 2012

Scottish Land Fund – a cause for optimism?


From a distance, our community right to buy legislation has long been a source of envy.  For those who have first-hand experience of it, the view is usually less than flattering.  With still no progress on the much vaunted review of the legislation, there was at least some good news last week with the launch of a new Scottish Land Fund.  It is only £6m over three years , but in these straightened times it’s a sign that community land ownership is still very much on Scottish Government’s agenda.




Big Lottery press release 

Funded by the Scottish Government and delivered in partnership by the Big Lottery Fund and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the new Scottish Land Fund today (29th June) opens its doors for business.

With £6 million to invest over the next three years, the Scottish Land Fund will support rural communities throughout Scotland to become more resilient and sustainable through the ownership and management of land and land assets.

The Big Lottery Fund and Highlands and Islands Enterprise have developed a programme which will provide not only grant assistance but also expert guidance to help Scotland’s rural communities realise their ambitions of community ownership.

Launching the Scottish Land Fund at Crossgates Community Woodland in Fife, Environment Minister Stewart Stevenson, said: “Crossgates Community Woodland is an excellent example of what can be achieved when a local community, with a clear idea of how best to develop land for the benefit of its community, is supported to buy land. And today is an historic day for community land ownership in Scotland – I’m delighted to announce that our Scottish Land Fund, which will empower rural communities to help them acquire land, is now open for applications.  Both Big Lottery Fund Scotland and HIE will ensure the fund makes the best use of existing resources and expertise to maximise the land fund’s potential.”

The Scottish Land Fund has £1 million  to spend by the end of March 2013, £2 million by the end of March 2014 and £3 million by the end of March 2015. Groups can apply for grants of between £10,000 and £750,000.

 The Scottish Land Fund is a competitive single stage application process. If you are interested in making an application you should contact BIG’s Enquiries Line on 0300 123 7110 or email us at to discuss your project idea.

You can also find out more information about the Scottish Land Fund here.