A museum dedicated to the Arctic convoys of the Second World War is among the recipients of a £1.9 million award from the Scottish Land Fund.
The Russian Arctic Convoy Project will receive £72,820 towards the purchase of a former butcher shop and accompanying land in Aultbea in the Highlands to build an exhibition centre.
The Scottish Government fund offers grants of up to £1 million to help communities take ownership of land and buildings for the benefit of the local area.
Volunteers hope to establish a permanent exhibition centre around Loch Ewe, a Second World War trail and a memorial garden to honour those who served in the Arctic convoys to and from Murmansk and Archangel in Russia between 1941 and 1945. At Rubha nan Sasan, on the western tip of Loch Ewe, is a war memorial to the crews lost on Russian convoys.
George Milne, honorary president of the group, said: “We are currently commemorating the 75th anniversaries of these years and are delighted and grateful to have been awarded this grant from the Scottish Land Fund to enable us to buy our premises which is currently rented.”
In Aberdeen, Bonnymuir Green Community Trust has received £164,750 to purchase the former Bonnymuir bowling green and the accompanying pavilion building. The group has plans for a market garden and a community building with a cafe, meeting space and retail space for locally-grown produce.
Friends of Leadburn Community Woodland in Midlothian will purchase 23 acres of woodland from Forestry Enterprise Scotland after receiving an award of £41,000. The group has plans to improve access to the site, develop new paths and expand volunteering activities on offer to local people.
Scottish Land Fund chair John Watt said: “With community acquisitions of woodlands, shops and land for housing, this funding shows just how creative, forward-thinking and committed local groups are in their ambitions of turning their community ownership project ideas into reality.”
Land Reform Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said the projects would be major assets to their communities for years to come.
She said: “Working with partners such as the Big Lottery Fund, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the independent committee that oversees the Scottish Land Fund, this government is driving forward land reform in Scotland more than ever before.”