EYCDC led the community purchase of the former farm buildings and site of 2.06 hectares from Buccleuch Estates and in late 2022 the development was successfully completed. The old Kirkhope Farm steading has been totally transformed into 5 affordable houses and 7 energy efficient workshop units.
The community group were granted £285,000 from the Scottish Land Fund towards the steading purchase and some start-up costs for the first year. After some Covid-19 related hold ups, the group become the proud owners on Wednesday 3rd June.
Project manager for the community company, Vicky Davidson, said,
“Taking ownership is a huge milestone for us and something we’ve been working towards for several years. We want to thank Buccleuch Estates for giving us the first option on the site and then for their patience while we raised the funds. We also want to thank the Scottish Land Fund not just for the funding but also for their support and advice at every step of the way.”
Local resident and former EYCDC director Sandy Cumming added,
“Creating affordable homes and business space at Kirkhope will be a huge boost for both valleys as there are very few properties available to rent at prices local young people and families can afford and this has had a real impact on the local school and community as a whole. ”
John Watt, Scottish Land Fund Committee Chair, said:
"I am delighted that Ettrick & Yarrow Community Development Company will this week take ownership of Kirkhope Farm Steading, which follows their Scottish Land Fund award at the end of last year. Owning and developing the site will contribute to the long-term sustainability of this rural community and I wish them every success as they go on to realise their community ownership ambitions.”
Benny Higgins, executive chairman of Buccleuch, said: ‘The level of cooperation between EYCDC and Buccleuch has been exceptional, and we look forward to seeing their plans coming to fruition over the coming months.