Bute Forest receives £71,285 from Coastal Communities Fund

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Bute Forest Ltd has been awarded a grant of £71,285 to help set up a community timber products business on the island.

The company, a subsidiary of the Bute Community Land Company, which owns part of the Rhubodach forest at the north end of the island, is one of 19 projects across Scotland which will receive cash in the first round of awards from the new Coastal Communities Fund, set up to distribute part of the profits made by the Crown Estate.

Eight Highlands and Islands schemes, four of them in the Argyll and Bute area, were among the successful bidders, which were announced on Wednesday by Danny Alexander MP, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

Mr Alexander’s Liberal Democrat colleague, Argyll and Bute MP Alan Reid, said: “I congratulate these four local groups on their successful bids. These awards will help four very important projects.

“I am delighted that profits from the Crown Estate are now being returned to coastal communities instead of ending up in the coffers at Westminster and Holyrood.

“Another £2 million will be available next year to groups in the Highlands and Islands.”

The four Argyll and Bute awards are as follows:

Bute Forest Ltd - £71,285 to launch a community timber products business, boosting local jobs and tourism;

Isle of Gigha Heritage Trust - £270,925 to redevelop the old harbour;

Argyll and Bute - £369,199 for new water sports facilities and apprenticeships schemes;

The Long and Winding Way Company Limited - £240,000 to develop the Kintyre Way to become a world class tourist attraction.

The money in the Coastal Communities Fund is allocated to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and is equal to 50 per cent of the revenues generated by the Crown Estate’s marine assets in that area.

It is distributed in partnership with the Big Lottery Fund’s ‘BIG Fund’ and the relevant devolved administration. Based on the Crown Estate’s Marine revenues in 2010/11 (£47.4 million), the overall fund was worth £23.7 million in 2012.

Funds can be used to support both capital and revenue projects, and communities are encouraged to match funds with other pots of money.