Communities across Scotland will now receive support to become land or buildings owners thanks to a £350,000 fund.
The money, awarded to the Community Ownership Support Service (COSS) for 2016/17, aims to provide community groups and public bodies with support to transform buildings or land assets. The service has previously helped to turn former council offices and empty shops into community hubs, art venues or sports centres.
Since 2011, the service has supported more than 490 projects, helping facilitate 78 asset transfers of buildings or land to local communities.
The support service offers expert advice on all aspects of asset transfer, as well as training courses, good practice guides and toolkits for communities wanting to take on buildings or waste land.
Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson welcomed news of this funding and is encouraging community groups in his constituency to take advantage of this funding.
Mr Matheson said:
“I very much welcome news of this funding, which can support communities across the Falkirk area to take on buildings and land and use them for the good of their community and improve their local area.
“Every area has a building or land that could be transformed if local people were given the support, help and, importantly, control, to make a difference.
“I know that this fund will help communities transform buildings into spaces fit for purpose, and inject life into local town and village centres by regenerating disused spaces, generating income and creating jobs and I would encourage local groups to take advantage of this by contacting the Community Ownership Support Service at: http://www.dtascommunityownership.org.uk/