Praise for Mull buyout

South of Scotland MSP Aileen McLeod has welcomed recognition by the First Minister of the Mull of Galloway community buyout.

The deal was completed earlier in the summer, and Alex Salmond referred to the initiative during his statement in parliament last week on the Scottish government’s programme.

Dr McLeod said: “I am delighted the First Minister highlighted the successful community buyout of the Mull of Galloway in parliament when he was talking about the importance of community empowerment.

“One of the most important bills the parliament will consider is the Community Empowerment and Renewal Bill. This is intended to strengthen community planning, simplify the operation of the community right to buy and make it easier for communities to buy public sector land and buildings.

“The government has also set an ambitious target for one million acres of Scottish land to be community-owned by 2020 which will itself help to remove the potential barriers to communities owning their own assets.

“Dumfries and Galloway has a strong community spirit and very often voluntary groups, development trusts or community initiatives are already looking at ways in which they can take over public assets with a view to running them to serve their communities.

“There are already good examples of this at the Mull of Galloway, in Portpatrick and at the Isle of Whithorn. I hope that the Community Empowerment Bill will allow more communities across Dumfries and Galloway and across Scotland to fulfil their ambitions and take more control of their own futures.”