A major boost to the local area has been announced this week with news that Huntly Development Trust (HDT) has been successful with a bid to the Scottish Land Fund (SLF) for support towards acquiring a farm on behalf of the community.
The SLF has awarded HDT £357,874 towards the costs of purchasing and developing Greenmyres Farm for community use. This represents a capital sum of £311,088 towards the costs of purchase, associated legal costs legal fees and stamp duty, as well as 2 years support for developing the project worth £46,786.
Greenmyres Farm is located on the south side of the A96, about five miles south-east of Huntly. It comprises a 1.5 storey farmhouse, several sheds and outbuildings, areas of hard-standing and 60 acres of land currently used for grazing. The farm has been for sale for several months and offers the community a range of potential uses. These include a community farm, start up business units and a community wind turbine. HDT is progressing the initiative with Huntly Mental Health, soon to be re-named NOW (Networks of Wellbeing Ltd), and is calling for other groups and individuals in the community to come forward with ideas.
Richard Hammock, Chair of HDT said “This is an outstanding opportunity for HDT and the wider community to bring in real benefits from the ownership of a community asset. We all know that Huntly is a creative place and we look forward to hearing what ideas organisations and individuals have to make use of the potential Greenmyres offers. The award of this grant from the Scottish Land Fund is also a sign of their confidence that HDT, its staff and Directors, with our local community partners, can really make something special with what we have been granted. We would like to thank the Scottish Land Fund, and in particular their advisor, Munro Gauld, for all the support they have provided.”
Sandra Brantingham, Chair of Huntly Mental Health / NOW, commented: “Huntly Mental Health, soon to be NOW, is delighted to be a partner in developing the Greenmyres Community Farm project. We are already part of a number of community-based initiatives and Greenmyres offers us an exciting opportunity to extend those and develop further activities to meet community needs. We look forward to working in close partnership with Huntly Development Trust and others to make the most of what Greenmyres offers.”
The SLF grant represents around 90% of the purchase price of the farm. HDT is currently working with others to secure the additional finance. With the farm under offer and the legal details being progressed it is expected that HDT will take entry before the end of the year.
In early 2014, formal community consultation on potential uses for the farm will be held. These will give locals the opportunity to visit the farm, get an idea of the potential it offers and give their opinions on future development options. In the meantime, anyone with an idea of what they would like to see happen on the site should contact HDT on: 01466 799416 or email@example.com