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Nith Valley Leaf Trust Break New Ground

28 November 2013

Nith Valley Leaf Trust are leading the way in a new housing initiative offering affordable rented accommodation to local people in the rural village of Closeburn.

The Trust was awarded £35,000 from the Scottish Hydro Clyde Community Benefit Fund earlier this year, towards the purchase of a new-build three bedroomed house in Closeburn, Dumfries and Galloway. The house will be let on a short-term lease to maintain flexibility and the monthly rent will be pitched at an affordable rate.

Currently people are often relocated to available housing in other areas, thereby losing links with their home community. Nith Valley Leaf Trust will be able to allocate their house to families with a local connection, thereby enabling community links to be maintained.

The Trust estimate that 30 local families could benefit from this social housing project over the 90 year life of the house. Longer tem, this initiative could have a significant impact on the community, as it will allow more young people to live and work in the local areas.

Mike Steele, a Director of Nith Valley Leaf Trust, said “At the moment there is a real lack of affordable homes for local people who wish to stay locally. This project will enable us to retain the next generation in our small rural community. If it works well, we hope to extend the project by buying more homes for affordable rent in the future”

Foundation Scotland manages the fund on SSE’s behalf. The Foundation’s role is to work with communities, administering grant rounds, assessing applications and supporting the local Panel in its decision making role. Using its grant making expertise, the Foundation helps communities grant awards, with emphasis on making a lasting impact.

Cara Gillespie Foundation Scotland Community Engagement Executive said; “This project showcases the long term impact that community benefit funds can have on a small community such as Closeburn. The fund is allowing the Nigh Valley Leaf Trust to develop a solution to the lack of affordable housing for the local community and hopefully allow more young people to stay in the local area, creating a more sustainable community.”

The operating life of the wind farm is expected to be 25 years with an annual fund value of £139,840. Over the wind farm’s lifespan at least £3.5 million will be invested in the area.

Nith Valley Leaf Trust is currently asking for expressions of interest from people with local connections wishing to rent the house, which will be available in early 2014. For more information about letting the property contact 07739183250


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