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Community ownership is increasing in Scotland

Published: 8 Dec 2017 09:42

An Official (Experimental - Data under development) Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Scotland's Chief Statistician today published the Estimate of Community Owned Land in Scotland 2017 publication. The publication presents the area of land in community ownership, the number of land parcels/assets in community ownership and the number of community groups that own land parcels/assets.

The 2017 release is the first Estimate of Community Owned Land in Scotland publication. The publication that will track progress towards the Scottish Government target to have a target of one million acres of land in Scotland in community ownership by the end of 2020.

As at June 2017 there were 562,230 acres in community ownership this is 2.9% of the total land area of Scotland. There were 492 land parcels/assets in community ownership owned by 403 community groups.

In the first six months of 2017, six additional land parcels/assets came into community ownership, bringing an additional 94.23 acres being in community ownership.

An additional 437,770 acres has to come into community ownership to achieve the target of having one million acres of land in community ownership by the end of 2020.

Community groups who own land parcels/assets are widespread across Scotland. Although the area of land in community ownership, is concentrated in two Local Authorities: Highland and Na h‑Eileanan Siar. Na h-Eileanan Siar contains 385,340 acres of land in community ownership and Highland contains 141,912 acres. This equates to 93.7% (527,252 acres) of the total land in community ownership in Scotland.

The figures released today were produced by statistical staff in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Background

The full statistical publication can be accessed at: http://www.gov.scot/ISBN/9781788514118

The Estimate of Community Owned Land in Scotland publication is being released as experimental statistics as it is based on a new and developing data source. The Scottish Government is working to improve the quality of the data currently held on community ownership. The publication is being released now so that a baseline of the area of land in community ownership can be established and then progress towards the one million acre target can then be monitored.

In relation to the Estimate of Community Owned Land in Scotland publication 'community' is defined on a geographical basis, which can be defined by postcode units and/or a prescribed area.

A relevant 'community body' is required to have a number of essential characteristics, which collectively ensure that community owned assets are used for the benefit of the wider community rather than one particular interest group

Ownership is defined in the legal sense: A legal title coupled with exclusive legal right to possession.

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/About