Pairc gets thumbs up from Big Lottery Fund

The Pairc Trust have been successful in their Stage 1 application to the Big Lottery Fund for financial assistance towards the purchase of land and an associated lease on the Pairc Estate, and the costs of developing the estate in the first few years after purchase.

The Trust have now been asked to draw up a more detailed Stage 2 application. Commenting on the positive response to their funding request, Angus McDowall, chairman of Pairc Trust, said: “This is a most encouraging sign, which indicates that the Big Lottery Fund are willing to assist the community buyout in principle. For the next stage, we will be updating our business plan and confirming community support for our plans to address the problems of the Pairc area through the creation of several new jobs and specific projects.

“While the timescale for a purchase is uncertain, following the Government’s decision to suspend the valuation process pending the outcome of the landlord’s appeal, we are pressing on with our fund-raising. We clearly need a valuation of the land and lease before we can finalise our funding application, and the sooner the landlord’s appeal can be resolved the better for the whole community. We are seeking urgent clarification of the position from the Government.

“It is significant that we now have the green light from the Big Lottery Fund, and we will be doing everything we can to be in a position to buy the estate once the valuation is known.”