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August 17, 2021

Quirk of fate

15 years ago, the Westminster Government commissioned a report into the viability of transferring public assets to communities. Barry Quirk,a local authority chief executive, led the review and because of his background, community sector leaders feared the worst. To everyone’s surprise Quirk came out strongly in favour of public asset transfer. It was a seminal moment which injected new belief and energy into the idea of communities owning land and buildings . It’s all become so mainstream nowadays that we barely notice it. Yet only a few years ago, what’s just happened in Rosyth would have attracted national headlines.

Ally McRoberts

A SCOTTISH Government minister stopped by Rosyth last week to get an update on a local community group’s move to buy a bank.

Mairi McAllan, who has the environment and land reform portfolio, wanted to see how plans have progressed since the award of £284,500 last November from the Scottish Land Fund.

Rosyth EATS are using that money to fund the purchase of the old Clydesdale Bank building in order to relocate and expand their community activities around cooking and food.

On her visit Ms McAllan announced awards for more local groups across the country and said: “Visiting the Rosyth Community Garden and Orchard has shown the value of placing ownership and decision-making in the hands of local communities.

“By relocating the community hub to the new premises acquired through the Scottish Land Fund, Rosyth EATS aim to expand their existing services and offer a suite of new activities aimed at growing and sharing food, reducing waste, helping the environment and improving food education.

“These projects will make a big contribution to their communities, to local resilience and recovery.”

Stephen Lynas, chairman of Rosyth EATS, said: “We’re grateful to the Scottish Land Fund for their assistance in helping us purchase the building.

“Following a successful round of fundraising and getting in place the various consents required, we will be starting the renovation works for our new hub premises in the very near future.

“We’re looking forward to providing a brand-new community facility that will give us with a fantastic platform to grow our services and support our local community in Rosyth and south west Fife.”

The Scottish Land Fund is funded by the Scottish Government and delivered in partnership by the National Lottery Community Fund and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.