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Evaluation of the Community Land Unit: a final report


The Community Land Unit (CLU) aims to: promote community-led land purchase or management initiatives; provide advice and support for the community land initiatives, including the exchange of best practice; contribute to the research and development of policies related to community land initiatives; and deliver the Scottish Land Fund on behalf of the Big Lottery Fund (from February 2001). The evaluation considers the CLU’s performance against its objectives and the wider aims of Highland and Islands Enterprise’s Strengthening Communities Group.


The evaluation involved: a postal survey of all 141 projects (with 57 completed returns); 40 telephone interviews; case study interviews face to face with 6 projects; telephone case studies with a further 4 projects; a review of case files; a review of CLU project data; consultations with CLU team; and consultations with stakeholders.


Finds that the performance of CLU against its objectives and its contribution to Strengthening Communities has been very positive and represents good value for money. Indicates that CLU has been the main driving force behind an increase in community asset ownership and that these projects are delivering a wide range of benefits.


Recommends that there is a strong case for the CLU to operate outside the HIE structure. Suggests that it is a good time for HIE/CLU to provide support for a separate network organisation, owned and controlled by members, to join up and share experience, promote the sector, provide information and contacts, and ensure that every community that owns an asset is part of it.

Author SQW Limited
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Equity
    Rural Development, Sustainable development