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Community / Aith charity shop plots community asset transfer of building and land

Photo: Aith Charity Shop

THE WESTSIDE community is being consulted on a proposal for the Aith Charity Shop taking ownership of its building and the surrounding land.

The hope is that a community asset transfer from landowner Shetland Islands Council would “safeguard” the future of the popular charity shop.

At the moment the shop’s trustees lease the building from the council. The surrounding land is also owned by the local authority.

The charity shop has been on the go since 2000 and it has taken in over £300,000 since opening its doors.

More than £200,000 has been donated to local and national businesses.

The Westside community is now being consulted, through a paper slip, on whether they support the idea of the shop acquiring the building and surrounding land.

The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 allows community bodies to make requests to local authorities or Scottish public bodies for assets that they feel they could make better use of.

Perhaps the most significant example of an asset transfer in Shetland under the legislation so far has been the Community Development Company of Nesting’s purchase of the village’s Aald Skül.

Unst Partnership also took on the unit it leased from Highlands and Islands Enterprise in Baltasound through the scheme to enable it to create a second-hand shop.

The New Life church is also in the process of taking ownership of the science block at the old Anderson High School in Lerwick.