Scots community ownership thrives in remote areas

Community Ownership is growing in Scotland, especially in the Western Isles, Highland and Argyll and Bute areas.

That’s according to the Community Ownership in Scotland 2018 publication out this week from Scotland’s chief statistician.

The publication provides the first figure for a new National Indicator which uses the number of assets owned by community groups to measure the extent of community ownership in Scotland.

As at December 2018 there were 593 assets in community ownership, owned by 429 community groups and with a total area of 209,810 hectares, 2.7% of the total land area of Scotland.

In 2018, 37 assets came into community ownership, an increase of 7% from 556 in 2017, comprising an additional 3,223 hectares.

There were 27 community groups which took ownership of assets for the first time in 2018.

Over a third (38%) of assets and a similar proportion (39%) of community groups are located in two local authorities: Highland (142 assets owned by 111 groups) and Argyll and Bute (84 assets owned by 54 groups).

Considering the land area of community owned assets, Na h-Eileanan Siar (Western Isles) and Highland together contain 96.4% (202,174 hectares) of the land area in community ownership in Scotland: 60,042 hectares for Highland; and 142,132 hectares for Na h‑Eileanan Siar.

About the Author

Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.