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Land Fund Committee Members Announced

25th March 2016

Land Reform Minister Dr Aileen McLeod today announced the appointment of seven members to the new Scottish Land Fund (SLF) committee.

The committee will be chaired by John Watt and is made up of Calum Macleod, Lisa Tennant, David Green, Duncan MacPherson, Anne Lear and Janet Miles. The appointments will run until March 2017 on a part time basis.

The Scottish Government's £10 million Scottish Land Fund, will support more communities, both urban and rural, to buy their land and other assets. The fund is being delivered by the Big Lottery Fund in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and opens for applications on April 1.

The previous Land Fund awarded £9 million over three years to 52 communities throughout Scotland. Of the 500,000 acres of land already in community ownership, over 90,000 acres was purchased with help from the Land Fund, benefiting 71,000 people throughout the country.

Aileen McLeod, Land Reform Minister said:I am delighted to announce the new committee members for the Scottish Land Fund. Each member has a wide ranging experience and a deep passion for community land issues and I am confident collectively they will provide strategic direction and ensure the success of the fund.

With the passing of the momentous Land Reform Bill last week and the opening of the new fund next month - community ownership in Scotland is going from strength to strength. We are seeing a new dawn for radical land reform across the length and breadth of the country. The Scottish Land Fund has already made a real difference to many local communities across Scotland helping community groups to purchase their own land.

I would encourage all those urban and rural communities with ambitions to own their own land to apply for the Scottish Land Fund. This Fund can help communities across the country acquire land and community assets which will make their communities stronger, resilient and more sustainable.

Committee Members

Dr John Watt OBE from Inverness, will chair the committee and is a retired Director of Strengthening Communities in Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). John has spent over 30 years working in the field of regional economic development. In 1997 he set up HIE's Community Land Unit to assist communities to acquire and manage land and land assets, and was head of this team for 5 years. As Director of Strengthening Communities, he oversaw the Community Land Unit and other specialist teams working in community-led rural regeneration. He has been involved in a number of community buyouts, including Gigha, Knoydart, North Harris, South Uist, Galson, Eigg both at acquisition and active management stages. John was also the vice convenor of the Land Reform Review Group as well as chair of the current Scottish Land Fund.

Calum Macleod is a native Gaelic speaker from Finsbay in the Isle of Harris, who now lives in Glasgow. He is based in the School of GeoSciences at the University of Edinburgh and has an academic background in regional and rural development and a PhD in environmental policy implementation. Previously Calum worked for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency as national advisor on sustainable development for Scotland's European Structural Funds Programmes. He has also undertaken a variety of consultancy and research projects focusing on the relationship between community land and asset ownership, community empowerment and sustainable development. In 2010 he led post-legislative scrutiny of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 on behalf of the Scottish Parliament. Calum provides commentary and analysis on land reform issues via his blog, Beyond the Horizon.

Lisa Tennant, from Glasgow, worked as a Consultant with Carbeth Hutters Community Company, leading their small team in developing and delivering the Business Plan for their ground-breaking £1.75 million community buy-out. Lisa also started, built and sold her own company, Book for Trees. The company was based in a rural area high on the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation. and bought overstocked and damaged books from publishers, keeping them from landfill and creating jobs for local people, thus delivering economic, environmental and social benefits. Lisa also has experience at a senior level across the private, public and voluntary sectors in her current Non Executive roles with the Scottish Police Authority (SPA), NHS Ayrshire & Arran (NHSAA) and The Ethical Property Company (EPC).

David Green OBE, from Achiltibuie, was an Independent Councillor and subsequently Convener of The Highland Council from 1999-2003. David was also Chairman of Cairngorms National Park Authority from 2006- 2012, where he was involved in setting up the Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust (COAT) an environmental, independently led charity to improve and maintain the large path network. David was also a board member of the Scotland Committee of the Big Lottery between 2006-14, as well as Chair of the Coastal Communities Highlands and Islands Panel. David was part of a community led enterprise as Chairman of Achiltibuie Village Hall Committee, who responded to the demographic challenge of an ageing population, falling school roll and other issues, and worked towards the vision of a 21st Century Community Hall. David is currently a Scottish Agricultural College Commercial Non- Executive Director and Chairman of the Crofters Commission 2002-2006, Chairman of the SRUC Rural Policy Centre Advisory Group and a Member of the Scottish Crofting Foundation.

Duncan MacPherson, currently living on the Isle of Harris, has worked in community-led rural development in Scotland and Africa since 1993. Duncan is an experienced project manager covering a wide range of areas including community land purchase, agricultural & conservation management , community woodland, construction, renewables, housing and training, Duncan is currently Commercial Development Manager of the West Harris Trust (community owner of 18,000 acres) where he is overseeing the building of a combined community venue, office and business facility, as well as working on small scale renewable energy projects. He was formerly the Land Manager for the neighbouring North Harris Trust (community owner of 63,000 acres) where he was responsible for deer and conservation management, community woodland and footpath improvement projects.

Anne Lear, from Glasgow is currently CEO of Govanhill Housing Association and two subsidiary companies, Govanhill Community Development Trust and GREAT Gardens. From its roots as a small community based organisation, the Association now sits at the head of a group structure which includes the Govanhill Community Development Trust (which leases workspaces and supports wider community action) and GREAT Gardens (which provides training opportunities). Anne is also an external examiner for the University of Glasgow - Diploma in Housing Course (CIOH), is a lead member for the Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations (GWSF)- with a special interest in community development and a former chair of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations.

Janet Miles, a resident of Gairloch, has worked with community development trusts and social enterprises in rural Scotland for the past 17 years, as part of her role in managing, Gairloch and Loch Ewe Action forum (GALE), which is a community development trust in Gairloch. In this time, Janet has successfully secured loan funding from Social Investment Scotland and in excess of £2m of grant funding in the form of almost 40 separate grants ranging in size from £1,000 to £400,000 for community development and regeneration projects and activities. From being the only employee in 1999, GALE now employs a team of 11 staff, engages 40 regular volunteers and delivers a diverse range of projects over a vast geographic area, including one project that operates in Highland, Moray, Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles. Janet is also a Non-Executive Director of the Development Trust Association Scotland (DTAS), the national body for development trusts in Scotland.

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