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Community Land Accelerator lead appointed

Crown Estate Scotland and the Scottish Land Commission are taking their Community Land Accelerator project into the ‘pilot design’ phase by appointing a new, jointly-funded, Community Land Accelerator Manager dedicated to the project. 

Katie Alexander, currently a Regional Engagement Manager with Crown Estate Scotland, will take up her new role in September with a mandate to develop the project, building on the original concept and the feedback collected from stakeholders. 

About the Accelerator 

Both partners want to offer communities more chances to own and manage land and assets but recognise that it can be difficult for community bodies to raise money quickly enough to buy high value land or significant assets when they come onto the market.  

Under the Accelerator concept, Crown Estate Scotland would acquire such assets on an interim basis, with the aim of selling them at market value to a community body once it had raised the funds. 

As the project is still at an early stage, the type and scale of assets which will be involved is not yet clear.

Next steps 

The Accelerator model is a new and untested initiative for Crown Estate Scotland. It has three defined phases – development, pilot, and roll out – and Crown Estate Scotland will take stock at the end of each phase before deciding whether or not to move to the next.  

Once the design phase is complete, and if the project progresses to the second stage, Katie will work with communities and stakeholders to identify the right projects to run as pilots. 

Ronan O’Hara, Crown Estate Scotland Chief Executive said: “Creating opportunities to diversify land ownership and management is critical if communities are to thrive. We want to design a Community Land Accelerator pilot which will let us road test the core idea – that Crown Estate Scotland can be an interim purchaser, giving communities enough time to raise funds for their own purchase – and teach us about the complexities of putting that mechanism into practice. Katie’s background in partnership working with communities including working on community asset transfer means she is ideally placed to this innovative project.” 

Hamish Trench, Scottish Land Commission Chief Executive, said: “The Scottish Land Commission’s research has shown that diversifying the ownership of land in Scotland has clear benefits  – but particularly in the current market, communities are often not able to act quickly enough to buy land when it becomes available. We think public land managers can play an important part and we’re pleased to be working with Crown Estate Scotland to pilot one approach that can help enable more community ownership of land.”  

To be kept up to date on the progress of the project, or to make any enquiries, please contact