Mull of Galloway Estate's future assured by Scottish Land Fund grant
A trust overseeing Scotland's most southerly point has received a grant of £338,500 grant.
The future of Scotland's most southerly point took a big step forward on Wednesday thanks to a grant from the Scottish Land Fund.
The Mull of Galloway Estate will be brought into community ownership and protected and developed as a tourism and heritage asset.
The Mull of Galloway Trust will purchase the Mull of Galloway Estate from the Northern Lighthouse Board through the Community Right to Buy process to protect and sensitively develop an area that is critically important to the local economy.
Scottish Land Fund Committee chair John Watt said: "The fund, with funding over three years, seeks to empower more rural communities, giving them the resources they need to achieve their plans of local sustainability.
"Communities are capable of immense achievements when they own and manage their local land and assets and this scheme will bring clear long-term benefits for the Mull of Galloway. I am delighted to announce today's grant and look forward to seeing the project develop."
Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Environment and Climate Change, said: "I am delighted that the Scottish Land Fund is empowering the Mull of Galloway Trust to take control of their own future by helping them to acquire the Mull of Galloway Estate.
"The Scottish Government strongly supports communities across Scotland in their efforts to manage assets to the benefit of local people and the economy of their area.
"This project is an excellent example and will allow the Mull of Galloway Trust to develop the land and the Mull of Galloway lighthouse into a fantastic tourism and heritage asset that is critically important to the local economy and to fulfil the community's aspirations to generate jobs and prosperity.
"In doing this, this unique project will help enable the community of Kirkmaiden to achieve sustainable economic, social and environmental improvements."
The Mull of Galloway Trust's Mull of Galloway Community Buyout project will use the £338,500 grant, which represents 95 percent of the land costs, to purchase the land as well as three former lighthouse keepers' cottages, engine room, exhibition, RSPB reserve and visitor centre and the fog horn.
The lighthouse tower is not part of the sale will continue as a working lighthouse operated by Northern Lighthouse Board.
Community ownership and management of the Mull of Galloway Estate should safeguard existing jobs and create more volunteering, training and local employment opportunities.
Steve Hardy, a director of Mull of Galloway Trust, said: "We want to preserve the area as a place of beauty and tranquillity. And I'm hoping this will be a step towards my personal dream of bringing back the warning siren.
"Edinburgh has its one o'clock gun so perhaps Scotland's Land's End could have its one o'clock foghorn."
Launched last year, the £6m Scottish Land Fund is funded by the Scottish Government and delivered by the Big Lottery Fund in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
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