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GIGHA SUCCESS WELCOMED BY SCOTTISH LAND FUND AND DEPUTY FIRST MINISTER

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The community's bid for the island of Gigha was accepted last night following intensive 11th hour negotiations. Rep...
The community's bid for the island of Gigha was accepted last night following intensive 11th hour negotiations. Representatives of the vendor, the Scottish Land Fund and Highlands and Islands Enterprise hammered out the deal by video-conference with a link to the school room in Gigha where the elected directors of Isle of Gigha Heritage Trust were gathered. The community bid, though not the highest offer, was financed by a lottery-backed grant from the Scottish Land Fund and funding from Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

David Campbell, Scotland board member of the New Opportunities Fund and chair of the Scottish Land Fund Committee, welcomed the success of the bid: 'We had tremendous confidence in the people of Gigha to manage and make a success of their island asset. This has not been an easy thing for them to do in an incredibly short space of time.

'The islanders' application for funding was accepted by the Scottish Land Fund committee because it showed they had a coherent and viable plan to make a success of land ownership and management. There is no reason why, with investment and foresight, the decline in population cannot be halted, new business encouraged and the best made of existing assets.'

The deputy first minister Jim Wallace, added his welcome to the outcome. 'I am absolutely delighted that the community of Gigha have been successful in their attempts to buy the island and take over control of their own destinies.'

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