Scottish Land Fund leads to community ownership of Eyemouth ‘Cat. B’ Listed Building

Eyemouth in the Scottish Borders is the latest community to benefit from funding from the Scottish Land Fund, with an eco-innovation centre being established in the former Town Hall, a ‘Category B’ Listed Building.

The Big Lottery Fund writes:

An historic ‘B Listed’ building in the heart of Eyemouth in the Scottish Borders will be brought into community ownership, thanks to a £82,500 Scottish Land Fund award announced on Friday 14th October 2016. 

Taking forward a long held community ambition, Eyemouth & District Community Trust will now be able to purchase and redevelop the vacant Burgh Chambers and adjoining Town Hall to create a ‘Social Eco Innovation Centre’. The centre will provide a learning and training space, a social enterprise training kitchen, an IT resource centre, office space for new businesses and space for local community activity.

Sina Anderson of the Eyemouth & District Community Trust, said: ‘We are delighted to receive this generous award from Scottish Land Fund.  This funding will enable us to proceed with the proposed Eyemouth Social Innovation Centre, a project set right in the centre of Eyemouth, supporting the regeneration of the town and bringing a much loved building back into community use.  Whilst the community has always been keen to retain the old Burgh Chambers and Town Hall, as a community space, now with the conversion to a multi-use space, it will give added benefit to the town.

‘Eyemouth until recent times was one of the largest fishing ports in the whole of Scotland but now needs to look to other opportunities to sustain the town.  This project will address the need for a variety of training, office space and business support, in an effort to encourage young people to stay in the town, offer retraining, as well as attracting new businesses and start ups, to provide employment.’

Announcing the award, John Watt, Scottish Land Fund Committee Chair, said: ‘This is an important Scottish Land Fund award that will help the people of Eyemouth embark on an exciting journey of community ownership. This project will bring tremendous benefits by helping to increase skills, opportunities and training for local people, as well as encouraging innovation and helping new and emerging businesses to flourish.’

Cabinet Secretary Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham, said: ‘I am delighted Eyemouth & District Community Trust have received an award from the Scottish Land Fund to progress the purchase of the Burgh Cambers and adjoining Town Hall.  The community ownership of these iconic buildings in Eyemouth will allow the community to make more decisions about the use of these historical buildings.  The plans for training areas, community activities and spaces for new businesses are all key to community empowerment and it is pleasing to see Eyemouth & District Community Trust’s innovation here.’

Sandra Holmes, HIE’s sector lead for community assets, said: ‘Eyemouth & District Community Trust have worked really hard to make their community ambition a reality and I’m glad they were able to secure funding from The Scottish Land Fund to achieve this. It will be great to see the benefits the proposed centre will have on the wider community.’

Also announced today is a second Scottish Land Fund award of £20,755 to North Harris Trust who will purchase and convert a former Elderly Care Unit to provide two affordable housing units.

The Scottish Land Fund was relaunched in March 2016. As part of this refresh, the programme was expanded to apply to both urban and rural projects.

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