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The Findhorn Village Conservation Company

SCOTTISH LAND FUND BACKS FINDHORN VILLAGE COMMUNITY BUYOUT

The Scottish Land Fund has announced financial assistance to The Findhorn Village Conservation Company, in Moray, to take forward its plans for community ownership of part of the Novar Estate Holdings.

Thanks to a grant of £520,000, the community are now one step closer to owning the holdings which includes 61 hectares of amenity land within the village of Findhorn, and 800 hectares of the foreshore and intertidal land adjacent to the village.

Peter Hall Chairman of The Findhorn Village Conservation Company, said: “The Company is delighted with this award. This is an exciting project for the residents of Findhorn Village. Owning and managing the land and foreshore will give community empowerment to the people of Findhorn.  This will provide opportunities to both enhance and safeguard our unique environment for the benefit of all.”

Announcing the funding Scottish Land Fund Committee Chair, John Watt, said: “I am delighted that the Scottish Land Fund is helping the people of Findhorn move closer to their goal of community ownership. Initiatives like this give local people greater control of their own futures which also benefit future generations. I wish The Findhorn Village Conservation Company every success as they go onto  secure the final funding required to make their dream a reality.”

Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Dr McLeod, said: “I am delighted to see the latest round of Scottish Land Fund awards which will help communities in Moray to bring land into community ownership. These three communities have worked hard to identify land and develop plans for that land which will make a real difference to their long-term sustainability. I look forward to watching these projects develop and see the benefits that the Scottish Land Fund is bringing to communities throughout Scotland as the Scottish Government seeks to bring more land into community ownership by 2020.”

The First Minister recently announced the Scottish Land Fund will treble from £3 million this year to £10 million a year from 2016. This will make it easier for communities around Scotland who are interested in owning their land collectively to do so.

 

NOTICE OF PUBLIC MEETING

Further to the above announcement from the Scottish Land Fund the Board of Directors would like to thank all who have supported us through this challenging process. We hope that you are delighted with the outcome.

The Board would like to invite you to a public meeting on the 25th March 2015 in the James Milne Institute at 7.00 pm. The aim of the meeting will be to update you on progress and to celebrate this achievement. There will an opportunity to view the maps of the land and foreshore.

The continued success of the company is dependent on a strong membership and ongoing consultation. We would encourage those of you who are not members to join as this will enable you to vote on the future of the Company.
Membership application forms will be available at the meeting, on the website here, or from the Company Secretary - Marjory Barber, at the address at the bottom of this page.

We would like to thank all who have made pledges. We will provide details on how the pledges will be processed and collected later.

As the land has been valued independently by the District Valuer at £575,000, if you have not already made a pledge and would like to do so please see the relevant information under the heading Community Buyout - Urgent Appeal here.

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TFVCC (The Findhorn Village Conservation Company) is a community led and controlled company limited by guarantee with charitable status.  We were set up in 2011 and our membership is open to anyone on the electoral roll living in the postcodes of Findhorn village.

Our first successful registration was made in 2011 when we worked to record our interest in the Armstrong Garages Site. Just as we were hoping to move to the purchase of the site it was withdrawn from the market.  However our registrationcan be renewed in 2016.

There is a strong community backing for the principle of land ownership by the community and the company is working with Novar Estates to bring this about.

A Feasibility Study and Business Plan were commissioned in 2013 by TFVCC Directors to assess the benefits and challenges that the community purchase of land could bring over the short and longer term.

Our short term goal is to make a successul bid to the government for capital funds from the Scottish Land Fund to take land in and around Findhorn village and the intertidal part of Findhorn Bay into long term community ownership.

Longer term through ownership, we would aim to increase the capacity of the Findhorn village community and local groups to build knowledge and skills and encourage innovation and collective action in tackling local development and conservation issues and projects.

Across Scotland, land is being bought by communities who wish to remove the uncertainty inherent in private ownership. Land ownership by the community will unlock tangible assets including land, but it is the intangible skill and determination of people that will see opportunities and accomplish projects - for Findhorn village we will need both.

 

"Good place-making can provide communities with an important cultural context; a sense of pride and belonging; and a sense of local and national identity.  It can provide environments which function well; link well with surrounding settlements and provide attractive areas in which to socialise, to move around and to do business."
Scottish Government

 

The Findhorn village photograph courtesy of Coast2Coast Architects, Findhorn




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