Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Community ownership must be strengthened to support regeneration

Last week in Parliament Green MSP Ariane Burgess shone a spotlight on community empowerment through the regeneration of land and buildings.

In two Parliamentary debates and at the AGM of Scottish Communities Alliance, Ariane highlighted the need for greater financial support for community ownership and enabling organisations such as community housing trusts.

Commenting, Scottish Greens MSP for the Highlands and Islands Ariane Burgess MSP said: “There are 188 registered vacant and derelict sites across the Highlands & Islands. But thanks to the Community Empowerment Act, our communities are just getting started in reimagining under-used local assets, from playing fields to disused hospitals, community halls to growing spaces.

In Gairloch, the community, supported by the Communities Housing Trust, has transformed a derelict site in the centre of the village into 25 homes with a range of tenures and a community hub which is Scotland’s first public passive-house building.

But communities across Scotland need more support to make the most of this legislation.

That’s why the Bute House Agreement commits the Scottish Government to doubling the Scottish Land Fund to £20m by the end of this parliamentary session.

The Scottish Greens are calling for more long-term and post-acquisition support for community organisations and key enablers such as community housing trusts, to help communities thrive and support rural and island repopulation.

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