A group located in the Scottish borders are injecting new energy into the heart of its community, thanks to funding from the Scottish Land Fund, delivered in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Big Lottery Fund Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government.
After the existing fuel station in Newcastleton closed, the reinstatement of local fuel services was identified as a priority after a resounding response from local people to a 2015 survey. Based on these responses, the Newcastleton and District Community Trust, with support from HIE, submitted a funding application to the Scottish Land Fund and have been awarded £51,397 in order to purchase the disused site and reintroduce fuel services back into the area.
Steve Hartley, chair of Newcastleton and District Community Trust said: “We are absolutely thrilled that this site now belongs to the community. Newcastleton desperately needs a fuel station and we are looking forward to being able to meet local demand and also provide part-time employment.”
Ailsa Raeburn, head of community assets at HIE added: “I am delighted that the Newcastleton and District Community Trust are now in a position to reintroduce this vital service back into the area after receiving funding from the Scottish Land Fund. HIE, in partnership with Big Lottery Fund Scotland works with communities across Scotland to gain empowerment through ownership and we would encourage any groups looking to acquire their own local assets to get in touch with us so they too can realise the benefits of ownership.”
Funding from the Scottish Land Fund will allow the Trust to develop the site by demolishing the old building and replacing the old pumps with new unmanned pumps. There will also be sufficient forecourt space to allow for off-road parking of a fuel delivery tanker and storage tanks.
Plans for the back of the site are still being reviewed but it is hoped that the additional space can be used to build amenities, create storage facilities for the many voluntary organisations that operate in the area as well as offering small retail units to showcase local products.