Community and cultural development

Local Shetland treasure receives further backing from HIE

A community-owned Georgian property providing accommodation in Shetland has received a funding boost from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to explore new development opportunities.

Belmont Trust, located in Unst, has received £45,814 from HIE to further develop Belmont House, an asset owned and managed by the local community. The funding will also explore additional revenue streams and revenue savings. Another £41,231.25 has been secured from the local LEADER programme.

A classical Georgian property, Belmont House was restored and placed into community ownership after a successful £1.2 million funding bid by the Belmont Trust. The property currently offers unique high-end visitor accommodation which generates an income stream, with all profits being reinvested into the building to preserve the future of the house for the community. With the new funding, the Trust plans to convert a former garage on the site to a multi-functional studio which will provide more space for functions and disabled facilities as well as investigate an alternative renewable energy source and secure a part-time business development manager.

Belmont Trust Chair, Mike Finnie, explains: “ We are delighted to have been awarded funding which enables us to enhance the splendid facilities we offer guests at Belmont House.  We are very aware that many similar properties in Scotland have reverted to private from community ownership due to the high costs of running historic properties.  We are committed to keeping Belmont as a community asset and would like to thank everyone who visits and stays in the house for their support to making this a success”.Fiona Stirling, Development Manager at HIE commented: “Belmont House has been a successful community asset for a number of years and this funding injection will only continue the positive impact that it has had on the community.  Job creation and income generation are key factors in a strong community and we’re delighted that on this occasion our funding will tick those boxes.”

For more information on Belmont House please visit www.belmontunst.co.uk

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