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Community Land Scotland

Giving power to local people

Around Scotland, people are realising the benefit of community landownership. Owning land and buildings puts communities in control of their future.

A community buyout is when a community buys land, buildings or other assets in the place where they live. It’s a process that can unleash energy in a community and which ensures that any profits stay in the local area. It allows the community to decide what they want to see happen locally. In both rural and urban areas, community landowners have been able to reverse years of decline.


Communities buy a whole range of land and buildings, including rural estates, crofts, forestry and woodlands, allotments, community centres, churches, pubs, shops, housing and more. It can be:

Any Place

Any Asset



8 Steps to a Community Buyout

  • Contact Community Land Scotland 
  • Find out about what funding is available
  • Get in touch with the agencies that can support you through the journey
  • Look into options:
    • Some community groups go through a  Negotiated Sale with the landowner. You can learn more about that process here.
    • Community Right To Buy (CRtB) is a statutory route that allows communities the right to buy land when it comes up for sale
  • Identify who the landowner is
  • Hold a community meeting to explore the options
  • If there is community support, elect a Steering Group to take forward a possible purchase
  • Constitute a community body if required
    • The legal structure must have open membership within a specified geographic area.
  • There may be additional requirements if using CRTB or applying to the Scottish Land Fund.
  • Consult with the community and gather ideas on what people want
  • Write a brief for a feasibility study and a contractor who can produce it
  • Register an interest in CRtB if required
  • Carry out the feasibility study to determine the best and most practical ideas
  • Visit other community landowners
  • Write a business plan
  • Carry out technical work
    • Surveying land and buildings and getting contamination reports if required
  • Get a valuation on the land
  • To the community
  • To the funders
  • Get evidence that the community buy into the idea
  • If using CRTB or if requested by community, carry out a ballot on the whole community to get agreement to buy the land
  • Appoint advisors for the sale
  • Finalise funding
  • Complete the sale



You can contact Community Land Scotland to help you get started. Use the drop down above to see where you are on your community ownership journey. 

If you are looking for some inspiration, you can also have a read of our member stories to get you started!

Already a Community Owner?

Taking ownership of land is just the beginning. Talk to us and our members about the challenges and opportunities of owning and managing assets after a buyout.

We also run events and training for post-acquisition groups. Keep an eye on our events schedule!

A group room full of people sat in groups of 8 at 10 tables watching a group of 3 people on a stage.

Any questions?

Visit our FAQ section or drop us an email. We are always happy to hear from you!

A man and a woman stand and talk on green grass under a blue skye. There is an old building in the background.