Scottish Land Fund Report and our Response

Scottish Land Fund Report and our Response

You will be aware that the majority of villagers voted to proceed with the buyout in August. Since that time WCT has been working on the funding needed to complete the purchase of the land by the village. Last week we heard from the Scottish Land Fund that our recent application for funding had been unsuccessful this time. They have urged us to reapply in July with some guidance on where we need to strengthen our proposal. WCT is continuing with this work and other funding opportunities will be pursued as well as SLF. For example, we are encouraged to set up our own crowdfunding as part of the funding mix. Our application for charitable status is also filed with OSCR, the charities' regulator. Being a charity will open many funding opportunities that will benefit the village.

We are publishing our project’s assessment from SLF and our response to SLF so you can see how this application was not successful this first time. We disagree with many of the points made. Indeed, we have been debating the best way to react to the funding news. None of us want to see the unpleasantness that a minority brought to Facebook just before and after the vote. It is however necessary to make clear that the WCT is an organisation that embraces diversity, including diversity of opinion. We will not tolerate bullying in any form within our community. We appreciate that there are many opinions regarding the future of our village that we all love. We support robust debate in a civil manner. Courteous discourse should continue, but bullying, harassment and stalking will not be tolerated. We have been advised by the authorities to report any further such incidents to the police. We should be proud that the overwhelming majority of people have behaved admirably and constructively throughout the past nearly five years of buyout meetings and discussions. Many fellow villagers have genuine concerns which we will all continue to do our best to address.

During the pandemic, numerous self-reliant communities, especially those with community owned lands, have found themselves better placed to respond effectively to their new-found constraints and problems ((Built in Resilience Community Landowners Response to the Covid19 Crisis.pdf). We believe that the route of community ownership will hugely benefit our village in the short-term and the long-term. During the coming months we will work with the SLF, the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and others to further address some of the issues raised, including the issues of lead pollution and littering in the Mennock, among others. We will work on expanding the information in our excellent feasibility study and will commence work on a second grant application. We look forward to meeting with everybody and listening to your aspirations and concerns regarding the buyout. Hopefully, come the spring, public meetings will be back on the agenda, making discussion much easier.

Thank you.

Wanlockhead Community Trust - Stage 2 Assessment Report (1) (3)

WCT Response to SLF assessment DRAFT (1)