Mull buy-out reaches final stages

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With the valuation of the Mull of Galloway lighthouse being revealed, the community buy-out has reached its final stage.

The valuation carried out by an independent Scottish government appointed valuer has put its value at £300,000. The Mull of Galloway Trust will now be in contact with the Northern Lighthouse Board to agree a purchase price.

The eventual purchase will, however, depend on the result of a community ballot which will be held from March 6-9. Ballot papers will be distributed to every member of the Kirkmaiden parish community who are entitled to vote and who live full-time within the parish. The ballot papers have already distributed by post, to comply with Section 5 of the land reform ballot regulations.

To allow the Mull of Galloway Trust the mandate to proceed with its application for funding for the purchase, the ballot must return a majority in favour of the buy-out.

Company secretary Steve Hardy explained: “The rules governing community buy-outs are very strict. With regards to the ballot, a minimum of 50 per cent of the ballot papers must be returned, and of those returned, 50 per cent must be in favour. Providing we get that support, and I would dearly like it be a 100 per cent return with a 100 per cent in favour, we would ask that the completed ballot paper be placed in the freepost envelope provided and either posted via Royal Mail or posted in the ballot box at Drummore Post Office.

“Once the ballot has been held, and providing it proves in favour, then we as a trust will apply to the Scottish government for 95 per cent funding from the Scottish Land Fund. The remaining five per cent of the purchase price will raised by additional applications to other funders along with any donations.”

To ensure every member of the community is aware of what is to happen, and how the funding will be raised, the Mull of Galloway Trust is to hold a second public meeting in Drummore Church Hall at 7pm on Wednesday, March 6.

“Present at this meeting will be members of the Community Assets Division of the Scottish government, along with the trust’s funding case worker. They will be able to answer any questions the community may have with the proposed buy-out,” said Steve.

“The trust is hopeful that there will be a good turnout at the meeting.”