We are delighted to announce that Action Porty’s application to the Scottish Land Fund has been successful
The Scottish Land Fund Committee have approved a grant of £647,500 which includes a sum of up to £570,000 towards the purchase of the church and halls – the final figure will depend on the outcome of the independent valuation process, which has been commissioned by the Scottish Government.
The final part of the Community Right to Buy process will involve a ballot of Portobello residents (also commissioned by the Scottish Government) which will happen towards the end of March. All voters within the area of Portobello that Action Porty currently covers will receive a letter from Electoral Reform Services in the post, probably in the last week of March. Please make sure you return it immediately so that your vote can be included in the count!
The story of our successful award from the Scottish Land Fund was carried by the Evening News, the BBC and Commonspace, to name but a few.
Land Reform Secretary, Roseanna Cunningham MSP said: “Groups such as Action Porty, who are looking to acquire former Portobello Old Parish Church and halls in Edinburgh, and the Copperworks Housing Association Ltd, who will revitalise the urban landscape of Royston, are great examples of how the Scottish Government’s land reform agenda can give communities the power to make a real difference.
John Watt, chairman of the Scottish Land Fund Committee, said: “Today’s award to Action Porty is a great example of what can be achieved now that the opportunity for community ownership has been extended to all parts of Scotland. This project has the potential to protect and enhance an important community facility, run for and by local people in Portobello. The funding marks a significant milestone for the group and I wish them every success as they go on to pursue their ambitions of purchasing and developing this local asset.”
Justin Kenrick, Action Porty chair, said “With the community fully behind this initiative to save Bellfield Old Parish Church and halls, Action Porty is now absolutely delighted to receive this crucial support from the Scottish Land Fund. As the population of Portobello grows while community resources vanish, this is a critical step in our efforts to ensure that we retain and develop fully accessible, affordable, community spaces that can enable our community to flourish in these changing times. We hope that all other communities will do the same, and will also get the support they deserve.”