A COMMUNITY group in Edinburgh has become the first organisation in an urban area to benefit from community right-to-buy powers with the purchase of a former church.
Action Porty intends to transform the former Portobello Old Parish Church into a multi-use community hub.
The group was awarded almost £650,000 from the government-funded Scottish Land Fund towards the acquisition.
Legislation passed in 2015 extended the right of communities to buy land to include people living in urban areas.
Although right-to-buy powers have been used widely across rural Scotland, this is first time permission to proceed has been granted to a group within a city.
Land Reform Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “Congratulations to Action Porty who have become the first organisation to use the community right-to-buy powers in an urban area.
“Our ambitious and progressive land reform policies have already delivered huge benefits to rural communities across Scotland.
“It’s great to see community right-to-buy now being used to unlock the potential of land in urban communities. I know other community groups will be inspired by Action Porty’s success.
“I wish them the best for the future, and look forward to seeing the group’s plans to construct a community hub progress.”