Steering Group Update, February 2014

Please find enclosed our first newsletter update, which has been posted through the letterboxes in the village.

Leadhills Community Buyout Newsletter

On the 18th of January a successful meeting was held at the village hall to introduce the idea of our community registering an expression of interest in a community buyout initiative if, in the future, the Hopetoun estate should decide to put land in Leadhills on the open market. Over 90 people attended what was the largest village meeting that Leadhills has held in recent years. During this meeting key speakers such as: David Cameron (Community Land Scotland) and John Hutchison (Eigg Heritage Trust) both involved with their own community buyouts.

There were many other speakers who covered the community buyout registration process; possible sources of support and funding; benefits of registering an expression of interest; and covering the journey of a community buyout from initial interest to full ownership.

Local speakers gave ideas that we, as a community, could do with owning our own land. A lot of “blue-sky” thinking to hopefully to get people talking about what they would like to see happen.

At the end of the meeting several volunteers put their names forward to join a steering group to take things further. As the results of the public meeting gave us the ten percent of the community needed to go ahead with registering an interest in purchasing land if Hopetoun decide in the future to put any part of the estate up for sale, the steering group was called January 26 this year to its first meeting, which was then officially formed. Since this meeting, interest forms have been collected and over 100 people have expressed their support for the registration of interest.

The main work of the steering group will be to lay the ground work for the registration process. The first part is to form a community company limited by guarantee. The definition of this is: “In a company limited by ,guarantee there are no shares – hence there are no shareholders. Instead, the company will have ‘members’. The members of a company limited by guarantee are bound by a guarantee in the company’s articles of association, which requires them to pay the company’s debts up to a fixed sum – usually £1”. , which means that it will be open to the community to become members and, more importantly, none of the members will be responsible for any liabilities.

Once the community company has been formed, the registration process can then begin.

The group has also made it of importance to keep everyone informed with an opportunity to become involved. So this newsletter is a beginning.

A web site has been set up – – and also a facebook page.

So please look at the website and come along to any of the steering group meetings which are held on the second Wednesday (7.30pm) and fourth Sunday (2.30pm) of the month. The next meeting will be on 9th April and at present will be held at the Hopetoun until other premises become available.