South Scotland

Eyemouth 'innovation centre' bid leaps forward

Building Image copyright Scottish Land Fund
Image caption The community wants to redevelop the Burgh Chambers and Town Hall

A historic building in the heart of Eyemouth will be brought into community ownership thanks to a Scottish Land Fund award.

The £82,500 funding package will allow Eyemouth and District Community Trust (EDCT) to buy and redevelop the Burgh Chambers and Town Hall.

They want to create a Social Eco Innovation Centre providing training, IT and business space.

Sina Anderson, of EDCT, said they were delighted with the "generous award".

"This funding will enable us to proceed with the proposed Eyemouth Social Innovation Centre, a project set right in the centre of Eyemouth, supporting the regeneration of the town and bringing a much-loved building back into community use," she said.

"Whilst the community has always been keen to retain the old Burgh Chambers and Town Hall as a community space, now with the conversion to a multi-use space, it will give added benefit to the town.

"Eyemouth until recent times was one of the largest fishing ports in the whole of Scotland but now needs to look to other opportunities to sustain the town."

She said the project would address a variety of training, office and business needs.

'Exciting journey'

John Watt, who chairs the Scottish Land Fund committee, said: "This is an important Scottish Land Fund award that will help the people of Eyemouth embark on an exciting journey of community ownership.

"This project will bring tremendous benefits by helping to increase skills, opportunities and training for local people, as well as encouraging innovation and helping new and emerging businesses to flourish."

Land Reform Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said she was pleased to see the award given.

"The community ownership of these iconic buildings in Eyemouth will allow the community to make more decisions about the use of these historical buildings," she said.

"The plans for training areas, community activities and spaces for new businesses are all key to community empowerment and it is pleasing to see EDCT's innovation here."

A second Scottish Land Fund award of £20,755 to North Harris Trust has also been announced.

It will allow them to purchase and convert a former elderly care unit to provide two affordable housing units.

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