Carsphairn Community Woodland project receives £300,000 funding boost

Carsphairn Community Woodland (CCW) has received £300,000 from South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) to take forward a series of innovative projects at Muirdochwood.

Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 11:25 am
Updated Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 11:25 am
Carsphairn Community Woodland purchased almost 50 hectares of Muirdochwood earlier this year

The project aims to provide a forest base for the local community, as well as becoming become the centre for training and development in forestry and rural skills in the south of Scotland and a sustainable tourism attraction.

CCW previously received support from SOSE in October 2020 to develop plans, which led to the purchase of almost 50 hectares of Muirdochwood earlier this year, funded by the Scottish Land Fund and Carsphairn Renewable Energy Fund Ltd.

It has put together a sustainable business model with income streams including forestry management, community woodfuel business, recreation infrastructure and a rural skills hub.

This latest SOSE grant of £300,000 will support:

Construction of a forest shed and yard to create office accommodation and processing of firewood;

Provision of equipment and tools for the operation of the forestry, wood fuel business and for volunteer work in the forest;

Enabling works including car park and access road for a volunteer centre;

Development of public facilities including accessible paths to encourage inclusive use of the forest;

Support for two jobs, with the aim of the jobs becoming self-funded by the business in coming years, as well as further posts being created.

Dr Martin Valenti, SOSE’s director for NetZero, said: “We need innovative and entrepreneurial thinking to make sure the just transition to NetZero is fair and creates a better future for everyone.

“Carsphairn Community Woodland is a fantastic example of this, the benefits associated with this project are wide-ranging, and I look forward to SOSE working with more organisations and businesses to realise the opportunities which the journey to NetZero presents.”

CCW chairman David McMillan added: “This is a very exciting point in the project and our thanks go to SOSE for their support, and to all the funders and advisers who have helped on our journey.

“Thanks also to our community members who have supported our directors in this project.”