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SECOND HISTORIC ASSYNT BUY-OUT

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With funding now in place, the Assynt Foundation has concluded the transfer of 44,400 acres comprising Glencanisp L...
With funding now in place, the Assynt Foundation has concluded the transfer of 44,400 acres comprising Glencanisp Lodge, Glancanisp Forest and Drumrunie Forest into community ownership.

Deputy environment and rural development minister Lewis Macdonald said:

'I particularly welcome the transfer of land in Assynt, one of the places where reform of Scotland's land ownership began over 10 years ago.

'The Assynt Foundation are to be congratulated on their commitment and determination in raising£2.9m to secure this purchase for the longer term benefit of the people of Assynt and for Scotland as a whole.

'Confidence in the foundation's aspirations under the community right to buy is clearly demonstrated by the bodies providing much-needed financial support, particularly those new to community ownership.

'Following closely on from the transfer of the Taft at Crossgates in Fife, the community right to buy legislation is clearly working for communities throughout rural Scotland.

'This buy-out proves that the act can deliver the opportunities it promised.'

The Land Reform Act was implemented on June 14, 2004. Part 2 of the Act provides the opportunity for properly constituted community bodies representing rural areas in Scotland to register an interest in and buy land when it comes to be sold. The legislation provides a right to buy registered land which will contribute to the sustainable development and well-being of the local community. Once an interest is registered, the land cannot be sold without the community's interest being taken into account.

Further advice on the community right to buy and copies of the Guidance can be obtained from the Scottish Executive's Land Reform Branch at Area 1D, Pentland House, 47 Robb's Loan, Edinburgh, EH14 1TY (Tel: 0131 244 6003) or from our website at http:www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Rural/Land/17063/8276.

The Assynt Foundation is the second community body to purchase land under the community right to buy, following Crossgates Community Woodland's purchase of The Taft on 24 May 2005. The Assynt Foundation's proposals include creating jobs and new opportunities for local people, protection and expansion of ancient woodland, environmental management and regeneration of the land, croft creation, developing eco-tourism and affordable housing, and creating the first community-owned national nature reserve.

Scottish ministers approved the Assynt Foundation's application to proceed with the community right to buy on 18 March.

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