Grant means Mull buyout can go ahead

The future of Scotland’s most southerly point took a big step forward this week thanks to a grant from the Scottish Land Fund.

The Mull of Galloway Estate will now be brought into community ownership and protected and developed as a tourism and heritage asset.

The Mull of Galloway Trust’s Mull of Galloway Community Buyout Project will use the £338,500 grant, which represents 95 per cent of the cost, 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 and continues as a working lighthouse operated by Northern Lighthouse Board. The Mull of Galloway Trust is now just £4000 short of the full cost of their project.

Scottish Land Fund committee chairman John Watt said: “The Scottish Land 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 the grant and look forward to seeing the project develop.”

A spokesperson for the Trust said: ”The Mull of Galloway Trust is delighted the necessary funding for our purchase of the Mull of Galloway has been given the green light. The purchase will ensure this iconic premier visitor attraction will be safeguarded for future generations. We are looking forward to working closely with the RSPB, NLB and NTS, who will continue to market the cottages.”

Galloway MSP Alex Fergusson added: “This is the icing on the cake for the Mull of Galloway Trust and is no more than it deserves. The 98% ‘yes’ vote in the ballot has been almost matched by this grant, which provides 95% of the total purchase price. When the result of the ballot was first announced I said it would allow the Trust to go full steam ahead towards the purchase. This grant means community ownership of this unique and gorgeous part of Galloway.”

Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Environment and Climate Change, was also full of praise. “I am delighted the Scottish Land Fund is empowering the Mull of Galloway Trust to take control of its own future by helping it to acquire the Mull of Galloway Estate. The Scottish government strongly supports communities 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 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.”