‘Rotating’ fund could help transform derelict sites in Fife

Cllr Lesley Laird hopes to see many derelict sites being brought back into use.
Cllr Lesley Laird hopes to see many derelict sites being brought back into use.
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Fife Council is creating a fund to offer interest-free loans to builders and landowners to transform vacant and derelict sites.

Earlier this summer, the council secured £1.32m from the Scottish Government for a Vacant and Derelict Land Fund (VDLF).

But instead of providing grants, financial support will be offered in the form of interest-free loans, with repayments being fed directly back into the overall pot, and thereby creating a ‘rotating’ fund.

According to a land survey published earlier this year, 199 sites in Fife are classed as either vacant or derelict, covering and area of 841.78 hectares.

Depute Council leader Lesley Laird, who was instrumental in securing the funding, wants to see the money used to bring long-term derelict and vacant land back into use, stimulating economic growth and creating jobs.

“Vacant and derelict land is a problem for many communities,” said Cllr Laird, highlighting that 147 of the 199 sites in Fife were in towns and villages, and 141 were within two miles of areas of multiple deprivation. “This funding will help build on work already being done by the Council.”

The funding was welcomed by members of the executive committee, but Councillor Peter Grant stressed securing the money was only part of the story, making a difference with it was what mattered.

Councillors will receive a report in early 2016 detailing the impact the funding has made.