News In Focus
First government-owned crofting estate is sold
The West Harris Trust has become the first community group to buy out a Scottish Government-owned crofting estate.
The Borve, Luskentyre and Scaristavore estates are being transferred at a historic signing tonight in the tiny village school at Seilebost on the west Harris coast, attended by Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham. The transfer is the first ownership transfer since the Transfer of Crofting Estates (Scotland) Act was introduced in 1997.
The sale price of £59,000 was determined by independent valuation by the Valuation Office Agency.
The trust plans to build affordable housing, help generate income by improving the tourism potential of the area, create jobs and develop small-scale renewable projects on the 6,578 hectares of land making up the crofting estates.
Ms Cunningham said: "This land transfer is the culmination of a great deal of hard work, determination and commitment on the part of the West Harris Trust.
"It is an exciting day for the community and a landmark day for the Scottish Government's commitment to community ownership of land and empowerment."
She added that community ownership improved self reliance and offered opportunities for employment, skill development and economic success.