Bute Residents Back Buy Out

Date: 12/02/2010

 

The residents of the Isle of Bute have voted to back the community buy-out of Rhubodach Forest, a 1,700 acre forest at the north of the Island, which is being sold by the film director Lord Richard Attenborough.
 
2,555 islanders voted in favour of the purchase in what was the largest community buy-out ballot to date under the land reform legislation. To be valid, 50% of the Island’s electoral register of 5,200 had to take part, with at least half of those voting in favour. 2739 votes were cast, 93.3% of which were in favour.
 
Rhubodach Forest occupies around 6% of the Island’s mass and is currently made up of commercial forest and an area of moorland which enjoys special scientific interest status.
 
The buy-out is seen by supporters as potentially the only opportunity the population will get to own a significant part of their island, which is almost entirely owned by the Marquis of Bute.
 
Islanders have been consulted about possible uses for the Forest and development of an environmentally sustainable tourism venture is the most popular idea.
 
John McGhee, the chairman of the Bute Community Land Company (BCLC), which was created to acquire the forest on behalf of the community, said:  “I am delighted with the result of the ballot.  It provides a strong message that the community is behind the purchase of the forest and is ready to take this first important step towards the revitalisation of the economy of Bute and the marketing of the island as a popular tourism destination again. 
 
He added that BCLC looked forward to playing its part in helping to progress other important initiatives on the island including the refurbishment of Rothesay's famous art deco Pavilion, the conservation and development of its important Victorian seafront and the marketing of Bute food and crafts.
 
The ballot result together with a feasibility study will now be lodged with the Scottish Government whose final decision on whether the buy out can proceed is expected within 3 weeks.
 
Ends
 
For more information contact Ilya Scott, Real PR on 07799 416476

Company Profile

Real PR has been helping the Bute Community Land Company (BCLC) with the media strategy around the community buyout of a piece of land on the Isle of Bute.

The BCLC has been actively pursuing  a purchase of Rhubodach Forest as a community owned asset for Bute. The community has the statutory right to buy-out the privately owned forest under government legislation.

For more information on BCLC visit their website www.buteforest.com or call Ilya Scott on 0141 533 6975.