The Bill was launched at The Kabin, a community-owned facility in Midlothian

The Bill was launched at The Kabin, a community-owned facility in Midlothian

The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill was published and presented to the Scottish Parliament today.

The Bill’s legislative measures are intended to make it easier for community groups to take ownership of public sector land and buildings in all parts of Scotland, where public benefits can be demonstrated. There will also be an increase in the Scottish Government’s People and Communities Fund, which will rise by £1.5m to £9.4m in 2015/16.

Derek Mackay MSP, Scottish Government Minister for Local Government and Communities, launched the Bill at The Kabin (pictured), a community led facility in Loanhead, Midlothian, that was highlighted in the 2012 SURF Awards. He said: “This Bill is about enabling people and communities throughout Scotland to make their own decisions and to build their own future. The Kabin is an excellent example of what can be achieved with the right support. It supports around 20 organisations, all working together to support over 1500 individuals of all abilities, in the local community.”

The Bill is available for download at the Scottish Parliament web-link below:

SURF’s 2012 response to the Bill’s consultation process, in which the use of the legislative process to support greater community involvement in local regeneration processes were welcomed, can be viewed here.

The possibility of encouraging an extension of the success in community land ownership in the Highlands & Islands to Scotland’s urban areas is a central focal point of the upcoming 2014 SURF Annual Conference.