The Joint Valuation, On the Heels of Community Vote in Favour of Buyout, Paves Way for Trust’s Quest for Funding
Wanlockhead-The Wanlockhead Community Trust (WCT) announced today that it has reached consensus with Buccleuch on a joint valuation of land surrounding the village of Wanlockhead. The valuation for 3,863 acres of Buccleuch’s Queensberry Estate, recommends a value of £1,483,000. The recommendation was reached by Davidson and Robertson, representing the Trust, and Savills UK, representing Buccleuch.
Lincoln Richford, Chair of the WCT, says, “This is excellent news for our proposed community buyout. We now know how much funding we have to set our sights on during the next six months.”
The land which is the subject of the joint valuation is desired by the community as part of a land buyout from Buccleuch. Wanlockhead passed a ballot on 12 August in favour of the initiative (https://wanlockheadcommunitytrust.org/71-buy-out-vote-press-release). The community land buyout area contains a portion of the popular walking route, the Southern Upland Way; the Mennock Pass and numerous other sites of natural, historical and recreational significance.
The WCT will be submitting a grant application to the Scottish Land Fund on 31 August to request funding for the land purchase. Should the Trust’s application to the Fund be successful, monies from their grant will need to be spent by the end of March, 2021. The WCT will also continue its discussions with numerous other potential funders to fund the buyout and to develop and grow the empowerment of the community as it moves towards a self-sustaining, greener future.
Says Richford, “This will require some heavy lifting on our part but we are up for it. This buyout can offer so much to our village. We have grassroots support and political support for it. I am confident that funders will also agree that this is a valuable initiative worthy of their support. We hope that they will join us on this exciting and timely venture.”
Anna Fergusson, Estate Manager of the Queensberry Estate said: ‘We have been working with the Wanlockhead Community Trust to reach agreement on the value of the land the Trust wish to purchase, and it is great that we have now reached this stage. With both the Community Trust and Buccleuch mutually agreeing the value, the Trust will be able to move to the next phase. Having worked with Lincoln and the team over a number of years, we will continue to keep in touch and come back to cordial discussions once the Scottish Land Fund have reached a decision.’
The Wanlockhead community buyout is one of the largest ever proposed for southern Scotland.