NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Orkney islanders given £260,000 for estate purchase

Rousay Image copyright Stephen McKay/Geograph
Image caption The community hopes to further develop tourism on Rousay

An island community has been awarded £260,000 to purchase more than 1,700 acres of peatland and pasture.

The money will allow residents on Rousay to develop visitor facilities on the Trumland estate and secure the site for a community-owned wind turbine.

The land includes archaeological remains and a site of special scientific interest.

The Scottish Land Fund grant is one of 10 across Scotland in the latest £1.6m allocation of money.

The Rousay, Egilsay and Wyre Development Trust (REWDT) said the funding would allow it to employ a project officer and ranger.

REWDT chairman John Garson said they hoped in the longer term to promote tourism on the island which has only 216 residents.

'Environmental advantages'

He added: "The project will help promote Rousay as an attractive place to live and provide two employment opportunities.

"The follow-on stages of this project will also have significant environmental advantages, will encourage and make it easier for locals and tourists to visit the area, provide well-needed additional public toilets and have the possibility of aiding digital connectivity across our islands. We can't wait to get started."

The other projects to receive funding are:

  • £229,000 to acquire a schoolhouse in Glenfarg, Perthshire, to create meeting rooms and a cafe
  • £54,000 to buy 21 acres of woodland in Lochmaben, near Dumfries
  • £38,000 to purchase land for parking, cycle space and an electric vehicle charge point at Hoswick visitor centre, Shetland
  • £178,000 to acquire the Kenmuir Arms Hotel in New Luce, Dumfries, and Galloway, to create a new community space
  • £187,000 to buy a four-bedroom house on Papa Westray, Orkney, to turn it into an affordable rented family home
  • £324,000 to purchase the category B listed Anderston Kelvingrove Parish Church in Glasgow, for use by community groups
  • £147,600 to buy a former harbour master's house in Westray, Orkney, to turn into rented accommodation
  • £130,000 to buy a former Royal Bank of Scotland branch in Wigtown, for affordable homes and a visitor bunkhouse
  • £99,200 to take over ownership of the Tarves community hub in Aberdeenshire