Taking community ownership to the next level in the Clyde Valley

Community Land Scotland is delighted to announce that it has full funding for its new Community Ownership Hub: Glasgow and Clyde Valley, thanks to grant awards from the Tudor Trust and the William Grant Foundation. Community Land Scotland is the representative body for Scotland’s community landowners.

The Scottish Government extended legal rights and funding for community buyouts to urban areas in 2016 but some urban communities continue to face an uphill struggle in their attempts to buy land and buildings. This funding from the Tudor Trust and the William Grant Foundation, along with funding from the Scottish Government, will allow us to set up a new Hub to accelerate community ownership in Glasgow and the Clyde Valley.  The project will provide more intensive support for communities at the early stage of their journey and work at a strategic level to create better conditions for those going through the buyout process.

Ailsa Raeburn, Chair of Community Land Scotland said “Communities throughout Scotland are increasingly looking for opportunities to take control of their local area, whether it is to build much needed housing or to protect a green space they’ve come to rely on during the lockdowns over the last year. It is clear to us that there are specific challenges faced by communities in some towns and cities. These challenges are most acute in deprived areas where community ownership has the potential to be particularly transformative. The process of community ownership can build confidence, as community groups regenerate their areas on their own terms and keeps the proceeds of development local.

We are delighted that the Tudor Trust and William Grant Foundation have recognised the Hub’s potential and Community Land Scotland’s track record of breaking down unnecessary barriers to community ownership.  The track record of both the Tudor Trust and the William Grant foundation is impressive and we are looking forward to working them both to help change the conditions in which urban community ownership can thrive.

Community Land Scotland has worked with around 100 urban communities across Scotland since 2017 and repeatedly heard evidence about the uphill struggle communities face on their journey towards ownership. The Hub, which will now launch in March thanks to this funding news, will have a particular focus on bringing privately owned land and buildings into community ownership. Community groups coming to the Hub will get help along their journey, such as for specialist advice on community engagement which can be particularly challenging in densely populated and transient urban environments, and support to identify which land and buildings best meets the community’s needs. The Hub will also work with local authorities, private landowners and developers in the area to identify more opportunities for community ownership.

Martin Avila, Director at Kinning Park Complex and Board Member at Community Land Scotland said “we have been sounding out local authorities about how they could take a more strategic approach to supporting community ownership, beyond the transfer of publicly-owned buildings, and we have already identified some exciting opportunities. If we can get these working in Glasgow and the Clyde Valley through a targeted approach, we hope communities across Scotland can benefit from the learning.”

Community Land Scotland was set up in 2010 by some of the early community buyouts such as Eigg, Knoydart and Gigha, it now has over 100 Members across Scotland.  The Community Ownership Hub: Glasgow and Clyde Valley will be providing support to any geographic community in the area which aspires to own and develop land and buildings.

Editors notes

Community Land Scotland is the representative body for Scotland’s community landowners. www.communitylandscotland.org.uk

Contact: Linsay Chalmers, Development Manager

Email: linsay.chalmers@communitylandscotland.org.uk

Tel: 07884 314297

The Community Ownership Hub: Glasgow and Clyde Valley is funded by the Tudor Trust, William Grant Foundation and the Scottish Government

Photograph: Viewpark Conservation Group in North Lanarkshire. Credit: Becky Duncan