Community group given permission to buy historic estate on the Cowal peninsula
A community trust is celebrating after the Scottish Government gave it permission to take control of a historic estate.
The South Cowal Community Development Company has been pushing for a community buyout of Castle Toward, a former residential school in Cowal, Argyll, since 2010.
It has already won £750,000 from the Scottish Land Fund and now the government has given the trust to take over the estate.
It means the community group can now finally continue on with its overall goal of purchasing the estate and putting it back into use for the wider community.
Chairman of the group Alan Stewart said: "This has been a roller coaster of a year for all those involved with the Castle Toward Community Buyout and it’s great to see all of our hard work has been rewarded.
“I would especially like to thank the Scottish minister and his team for the work they have put in to help us make this happen for South Cowal."
However, the group still faces a funding shortfall. Valued at £1.85m by the district valuer, the group says it needs to raise approximately £1m.
Campaigners hope to create 80 jobs in total and inject £850,000 a year into the local economy. Total capital investment could reach £10m, says the group.