Scottish Land & Estates today (Monday November 10) launches ‘Helping it Happen’ - a campaign to highlight how landowners on estates and farms across Scotland can play a key role in delivering benefit to rural Scotland.
The campaign is being launched to demonstrate that landowners and estates are committed to enabling local communities and businesses across a range of sectors including tourism and leisure, food and drink, energy, agriculture, housing and the environment.
David Johnstone, chairman of Scottish Land & Estates, said: “People who have the interests of rural Scotland at heart know that the best way to achieve vibrant and successful communities is to work together towards common goals.
“Landowners and estates are often stereotyped as detached and remote from communities and it is important that we strive to change that perception and show what can be achieved.
“There are already many instances of this taking place but so much more can be done that will result in wider benefit to communities, businesses and individual people. We want to make it clear that we are people who you can work with and achieve things together.
“Helping it Happen summarises exactly how estates businesses would like to be more widely recognised and involved. It is up to landowners to send out a strong signal that they are willing partners can and help break down some of the perceived barriers between them and communities.
“Businesses that operate across the rural sector often work together to provide mutual benefits and economies of scale. We need to raise awareness of the benefits of working together.
“With the launch of this campaign we hope to highlight the variety of areas where estate businesses are making a positive difference and also, of course, where more can be achieved. By sharing these examples we aim to generate ideas for other businesses and communities.
“It is also important for us to show how we are in the business of helping deliver national and local government policy and a wide range of public benefits on the ground.”
Scottish Land & Estates is planning to hold ‘Helping it Happen’ events across Scotland in coming months and will be providing comprehensive examples of how to help make a significant social, economic and environmental contribution.
David continued: “This is a very clear message to communities, businesses and individuals. We are here to help and play an active part in making rural Scotland a better place.”
Ballindalloch Estate, Banffshire is nestled in the heart of the Spey Valley. The estate is putting the finishing touches to Scotland’s first single estate distillery which will add to the tourism and food and drink offering in the heart of Scotland’s whisky country.
The distillery now employs three people and the estate worked in close conjunction with Scottish Enterprise to ensure its establishment.
Guy MacPherson-Grant, whose family have lived on the estate since 1546, said: “We’re delighted that the distillery has created direct local employment for four people and local tradesman continue to invest a great deal of time and effort in the project.
“Also this will be a very worthwhile addition to the whisky trail which can only benefit tourism and our food and drink industry.”
In Midlothian, a group of estates have formed an alliance of local estates. The Midlothian Estates Group includes Arniston Estate, Dalkeith Country Estate, Rosebery Estates, Penicuik Estate, Cranstoun Estate, The Crown Estate and Saughland.
The group has identified a number of local projects which it will initiate including helping drive forward broadband provisions in conjunction with other organisations, a mapping exercise to identify all estates in the area as well as campaigns on flytipping and rural crime.
On Penicuik Estate, the restoration of Penicuik House has made a vital contribution to employment and training by partnering with the Scottish Lime Centre, developing a training facility for 600 people per year in traditional stone craft and helping to address the chronic decline in the number of skilled construction craftspeople within the conservation industry.