Working with communities to help you reach your goals

Community group projects can have an empowering effect, playing a crucial role in helping to energise and grow communities.

Successful projects (be it land ownership or another project) can make a significant contribution to local employment and the wider local economy, spreading wealth and confidence through the community and its supply chain.

Our team has been at the heart of some of the most exciting community group developments and projects in recent years.

With offices in Inverness, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Thurso, we are ideally positioned to work with communities across Scotland, making it easy to arrange face-to-face meetings between community groups and our team.

We have community projects at our heart, providing advice to more than 25 community groups on a full spectrum of legal issues including: corporate structures and charitable status; governance; Community Right to Buy; and wind, hydro, biomass and housing projects

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Key services

Our dedicated community projects team provides a full service to community groups undertaking a wide range of projects across Scotland. We have particular specialist knowledge in the areas listed below.

In addition to our core team, we are able to call on the strength and depth of specialists from across the firm to guide you through your project.


Community groups

The community projects and bodies we advise range from small, grass roots organisations to large corporate entities with substantial turnover and complex requirements.

This is a fast-moving area and we are seeing significant cross-over between the community, charity and renewable energy sectors.

We have, for example, experience of advising community-based social enterprise vehicles. Our advice comes with a full understanding of the strategic, political and economic issues that affect our clients.

Key services include:

  • Advice on corporate structures
  • Advice on constitution
  • Incorporation services
  • Charity law
  • State Aid
  • Commercial contracts
  • Finance
  • Community ownership
  • Community renewables

Community landowners

Our team has in-depth knowledge on the developing sector of community landownership and the impact of Land Reform legislation.

We act for a number of community landowners and also advise aspiring community landowners, allowing us to understand the challenges, aspirations and opportunities that community landownership can bring.

We have acted on a number of buyouts both outwith legislation and also utilising the Community Right to Buy (CRtB).

We have acted in purchases of all types and sizes, including acting for Carloway Estate Trust in the purchase of a 13,000-acre crofting estate, utilising the provisions of the CRtB for Coigach Community Development Company and many more community purchases.

Key services include:

  • Land reform
  • Community Right to Buy
  • Land Fund applications
  • Purchases from public bodies
  • Forestry
  • Rural property
  • Crofting

Community renewables 

Renewable energy projects are increasingly instrumental in providing a source of income to independent communities. We have particular expertise in helping communities to deliver their own renewable energy projects.

Backed up by one of Scotland’s leading teams of energy lawyers, we have in-depth expertise in all types of renewable projects including wind, solar and hydro.

We have a strong relationship with community groups in relation to their renewable developments and, through our association with Community Energy Scotland (CES) have sought to ensure that we are as accessible as possible.

Partner Calum MacLeod has spent considerable time working with CES on its own community renewables projects, gaining a much wider understanding of the community renewables sector than most lawyers are able to gain.

We are also proud to have organised and hosted the annual Scottish Highland Renewable Energy Conference (SHREC) since 2010, at which community renewables has always been a focus.

Key services include:

  • Option and lease agreements
  • Cable agreements
  • Joint venture agreements
  • Shared ownership projects
  • Financing of renewables
  • Renewables on croftland
  • Planning law

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