7. To ask the Scottish Government what engagement the communities secretary has had with community councils regarding community ownership of land through the Scottish land fund. (S5O-04202)
The Scottish Government values the role of community councils, which undertake a wide range of activities for the benefit of their communities. I have not had any direct engagement with community councils regarding community ownership of land through the Scottish land fund.
I will be generous and thank the Scottish Government and Buccleuch Estates Ltd for assisting the Newcastleton & District Community Trust with the successful transfer of land, which will be hugely beneficial to the community. How will the Scottish Government support the community’s wish to buy out Holm hill, which is part of Langholm moor, in order to prioritise the need for more housing to be made available in the community, particularly in light of the devastation that Newcastleton has faced following storm Dennis?
I am glad that the member recognises the value of the regeneration capital grant fund, which is transforming lives and communities across the country. We are proud of what the fund has achieved. We have outlined in a report the impact that the fund has had, and I am glad that it is benefiting Rachael Hamilton’s constituents.
I am happy to engage with Rachael Hamilton on the issues that she has raised. I offer to meet her to further discuss the plans of communities in her constituency to ensure that we support them as best we can to make the applications that require to be made, so that they feel empowered and can benefit from the policies and work that the Government is taking forward.