Community Update 10 March 2016

Please find enclosed a copy of the Wanlockhead buyout newsletter which has been put through the letterboxes in the village this week.

Wanlockhead Community buyout potential

Following a public meeting in the community centre on 16th January, significant resident support was shown to explore the potential for community ownership of Wanlockhead.

Many rural communities around Scotland have purchased private estate land and assets and now manage the land with community interests at the heart.

Importantly, a buyout of Wanlockhead is only desirable if the vast majority of residents wish this. All our opinions are equally valuable and a Wanlockhead Community Trust is being established as an open and inclusive body in which all interested villagers can be part of. Regular open meetings are held every third Sunday of the month at the Wanlockhead Inn (7:30pm).

What does a community owned area look like? How does it work? What types of things can you do? What are the benefits to local communities?

All these are legitimate questions that villagers may have, and the Wanlockhead Community Trust will run a number of funded trips to communities who have purchased land and manage it for the benefit of residents.

These opportunities will be advertised and available to all villagers. Links to over 60 community owned land projects can be viewed at the following website:

How would you use the land?

Some ideas have already been floated, but what would you do?

Two events will be held to explore potential ideas on the following dates:

+ Saturday 2nd April (2 – 4pm, Community Centre)

+ Tuesday 5th April (7:30 – 9:30pm, Wanlockhead Inn)

These will be interactive events where you use post-it notes to pin ideas to themed boards. This will be a fun, engaging activity at which everybody’s views are important. Bring the bairns, we will have a special painting space where they can draw their ideas for the land and village.

Examples of ideas:

+ Business units for start-ups, craft workshops, gallery for displaying and selling local work.

+ Ecological restoration to enhance biodiversity, slow/ reduce flooding (property, mines, etc.), resource for sustainable energy and job creation.

+ Supporting existing and new projects that will put Wanlockhead on the map as the outdoor capital of the south of Scotland, providing income for the village.

+ Expanding and developing the heritage attraction of this historically important village bring more visitors and more potential jobs.

+ Establishing Mountain Biking circuits. Accommodation for bikers and walkers.

Some Questions: What about…

Will this cost me money, how will we pay for the buyout?

The answer is NO it will not cost villagers anything. Funding will be provided by the Scottish Government.

Will we have to pay the money back?

There will be nothing to pay back, this is funding not a loan.

What will happen to the services provided by the council, such as rubbish collection, lighting and road repair?

There will be NO change to these services, they will continue exactly as before. Sadly, you will still pay your council tax!

What about public liability or a disaster?

Like the current land owner, this would be covered through insurance.

Could this stop the current land owner developing a large-scale wind farm?

NO, because the community does not own the land! If the community did own the land it could decide what development was appropriate.

Got any other questions?

Please come along to any of advertised meetings or contact any of people below:

Isobel Gibb (74629), Mac Blewer (74225), Androulla & Lincoln Richford, James Murray, Steven Gillespie, Anjo Abelaira, James McKelvey, Tiffany Ireland, Nathan Kennedy.