562,230 acres of land in Scotland are in community ownership according to a new report by Scotland's Chief Statistician.
Ministers are aiming to bring one million acres of land into community ownership by 2021. The target of one million acres of land being in community ownership was set with the intention that it would focus minds to spread the benefits experienced by communities already owning land much more widely.
The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 frames ownership or control of land or buildings as the key element within effective community-led regeneration or development.
The Scottish Government claim that:
'Not only can community ownership help to safeguard or enhance local facilities, it is also seen as a means to generate income for community activity, increase community confidence and cohesion, enable communities to have more control over their futures, and support economic regeneration and sustainable development of the community.'
But while the Scottish Government is now more than half-way towards meeting its target, 93.7 per cent of the total land owned by communities is based in two local authorities.
Na h-Eileanan Siar has 385,340 acres of land in community ownership and Highland contain 141,912 acres.
In total 2.9 per cent of the total land area of Scotland is owned by local communities.
In comparison, the 10th Duke of Buccleuch, Richard Scott privately holds 240,000 acres or one percent of Scotland's land mass. Danish clothing magnate Anders Holch Povlsen, who owns an estimated 220,000 acres, and the National trust 180,000 acres.
Source: Scottish Government http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2017/12/1288