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Community ownership on the rise across Scotland

The number of community-owned assets is increasing across Scotland, according to official figures.

According to new figures published by Scotland’s chief statistician, the number of assets under community ownership rose by 7% between 2017 and 2018.

The Community Ownership in Scotland 2018 report shows that as of December 2018 there were 593 assets in community ownership, owned by 429 community groups and with a total area of 209,810 hectares, 2.7% of the total land area of Scotland.

In 2018, 37 assets came into community ownership, an increase of 7% from 556 in 2017, comprising an additional 3,223 hectares.

There were 27 community groups which took ownership of assets for the first time in 2018.

Nearly half of community owned assets in Scotland are pieces of land (296), with a third (199) exclusively buildings, according to the report.

Most assets will fall into the category of land, buildings or both. The two assets categorised as ‘other’ were a ferry and salmon fishing rights for a river.

And the report shows that while community ownership is widespread across Scotland, there is a large difference between the distribution of assets, the community groups that own them and their corresponding land area.

More than a third (38%) of assets and a similar proportion (39%) of community groups are located in just two local authority areas – Highland (142 assets owned by 111 groups) and Argyll and Bute (84 assets owned by 54 groups).

Considering the land area of community owned assets, Na h-Eileanan Siar and Highland together contain 96.4% (202,174 hectares) of the land area in community ownership in Scotland – with 60,042 hectares for Highland; and 142,132 hectares for Na h‑Eileanan Siar, respectively.

Photo Credit – Frank Winkler (Pixabay)

Jamie Hailstone
Senior reporter - NewStart

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