South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has welcomed the news that three projects in Dumfries and Galloway have secured £362,000 of funding from the Scottish Land Fund to support community buy outs- and urged other communities to follow the lead of the projects.

The projects are part of 10 across Scotland to receive backing in the latest £1.6m allocation of money with £54,000 going to the Castle Loch Community Trust- who were successful in a community buy of the Castle Loch in Lochmaben- to buy 21 acres of woodland in Lochmaben; £178,000 will go towards a community buy-out of the Kenmuir Arms Hotel in New Luce to create a new community space and £130,000 will be used to buy a former Royal Bank of Scotland branch in Wigtown, for affordable homes and a visitor bunkhouse.

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said, “These grants a great news for communities across Dumfries and Galloway who are taking advantage of land reform laws brought in 15 years ago which pave the way for community buy outs. When it comes to who owns land, Scotland is a very unequal country and community buy outs can held redress that inequality and bring local assets into use for the benefit of the public. I hope other communities will take inspiration from these projects and follow their lead so we see more community ownership and excellent projects such as these grow across our region.”

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