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Scottish Land Fund Set To Benefit Communities

Nine million pounds has now been awarded from the Scottish Land Fund to help 52 communities to buy land.

More than 500,000 acres of land is now in community ownership in Scotland, of this over 90,000 acres has received from support through the Land Fund.

A total of 122 communities have successfully registered their interest in buying land local to their community in the Register of Community Interests in Land.

And, the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, announced in her programme for government that the Scottish Land Fund will be increased to £10 million from 2016-20 – paving the way for further increases in community ownership as Scotland progresses towards the target of a million acres in community ownership.

Land Reform minister Aileen McLeod (pictured) is today visiting community owned South Uist Estate, in the Outer Hebrides. Seventy per cent of the population of the Outer Hebrides now live on community owned land.

She said: “As we approach the end of the current Scottish Land Fund, it is great to see that so many community groups have been able to purchase their own land.

“A fantastic example of a community making a real difference to the local community is here in South Uist where the community purchased the South Uist Estate in December 2006. They now manage 93,000 acres of land from sporting rights, fishing rights, croft land, various commercial and residential buildings and commercial land including quarries, fish farms and a MoD base, covering almost the whole of the islands of Benbecula, Eriskay and South Uist, as well as a number of other small islands.

“I am determined to see a more fairer and equitable distribution of land in Scotland where communities and individuals can own and use land to realise their full potential and land reform is essential to achieving this.

“Land reform has already delivered significant benefits to communities across Scotland, however I believe that the Land Reform Bill will result in real improvements in how land in Scotland is owned, used and managed and will change the relationship between the people of Scotland and the land that we live, work and depend on.”

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