Formed in 1994 as a partnership between private and public sectors, Langholme Initiative were a response to a post-industrial crisis in an old mining community.
As one of south Scotland’s earliest development trusts, they have led the way in facilitating projects that make a real, lasting difference to the area.
They are the community anchor organisation for Eskdale, continually working to improve services and facilities for our area.
Following extensive local consultations, the Langholm Initiative agreed to take forward a fundraising campaign on behalf of the community to buy Langholm Moor. They attempted to raise over £6m to purchase 10,500 acres of this very special landscape. Community ownership of land was a chance to help support wider regeneration of the town through new nature-based enterprises and make a meaningful contribution to the climate and ecological emergency.
At the start, this seemed like an impossible dream but with a huge dedicated effort across the community with an army of volunteers and support from partner organisations, the campaign quickly gained momentum. A fundraising campaign attracted a huge £3.8m in just 6 months. This enabled the initial purchase of 5,200 acres of the Tarras Valley to go ahead, the first half of the land officially transferred to the community in March 2021.
This included the land which has been marked for hundreds of years by many generations of the community of Langholm in the annual Common Riding – a historic achievement and a very powerful symbol. The final 5,300 acres of land was held off the open market in agreement with Buccleuch to enable the community to fundraise the final £2.2m to secure the Northern half of the Tarras Valley.
The buyout’s second stage was launched in October 2021. In 9 months, the community defied the odds and “achieved the impossible” for a second time in two years raising the total needed to double the size of the landholding and bring it into community hands.