Village contributing to community land ownership target

Carloway is a leading example of how local ownership of land can transform the fortunes of communities across Scotland, according to Roseanna Cunningham.

The Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs today met key organisations taking forward a community purchase of the Carloway Estate.

Residents on Lewis recently voted to take ownership of the 11,500 acre estate, which is home to the internationally famous Callanish Standing Stones.

The purchase is part of the plan to see one million acres of land in Scotland under local ownership by 2020 – doubling community land from its current level.

Ms Cunningham said: “Land ownership is clearly a matter close to the hearts and minds of communities the length and breadth of Scotland. That is why the First Minister announced an ambitious target to place one million acres of land across Scotland into local ownership by 2020, empowering communities, sparking regeneration and driving renewal.

“By tapping into and using local knowledge, we are empowering rural communities and progressing the true needs of the land.

“It’s heartening to see the affection that the people of Lewis have for the Carloway Estate and their commitment to nurture this area. The plans they have range from tourism opportunities to affordable housing, demonstrating just how wide the benefits of land ownership can be.

“It is local people who are best-placed to decide on the future of our land and that is why we are showing faith in local communities as the stewards of natural Scotland.”

“By improving the relationship between our land and people, we can create stronger communities and deliver the economic growth and fairer society that the people of Scotland quite rightly expect.”