A MUSEUM devoted to the Arctic convoys of the Second World War is to share a £2 million award from the Scottish Land Fund.

A community-owned woodland and bowling-green-turned-market-garden will also benefit from the cash.

John Watt, chair of the Scottish Land Fund – which gives awards of up to £1m apiece– said: “With community acquisitions of woodlands, shops and land for housing, this funding shows just how creative, forward-thinking and committed local groups are in their ambitions of turning their community ownership project ideas into reality.”

The Arctic convoys saw sailors risk their lives to ferry supplies to Russia and claimed more than 3000 Allied lives.

Sailors had to endure extreme temperatures, gales and pack ice and the four million tonnes of supplies delivered included tanks, tractors, telephone wire, footwear and other goods.

Medals were finally awarded to survivors in 2017 – 70 years after the treacherous journeys.

The Russian Arctic Convoy Project will use its £72,800 award to help fund the purchase the former butchers shop in Highland fishing village Aultbea it uses as an exhibition space.

Adjoining land will also be acquired in a bid to build a permanent centre around Loch Ewe, as well as a Second World War trail and memorial garden. The area was a collecting point for the convoys and a memorial dedicated to lost shipmates now overlooks the waters.

George Milne, the group’s honorary president, said: “We are currently commemorating the 75th anniversaries of these years and are delighted and grateful to have been awarded this grant from the Scottish Land Fund to enable us to buy our premises which is currently rented.

“We can now go forward to develop and improve our exhibition space so that it meets the requirements of our significantly increasing visitor numbers.”

In Aberdeen, Bonnymuir Green Community Trust received £164,750 to purchase the former Bonnymuir bowling green and the accompanying pavilion building.

The trust has plans for a market garden and a community building with a cafe, meeting space and retail space for locally-grown produce.

Co-chair John Wigglesworth said: “We are extremely pleased with this decision by the Scottish Land Fund and now look forward to working together with the trustees of the Bonnymuir Bowling Club to effect the purchase of this wonderful site and turn it into a sustainable community resource.

“We are also very grateful to our local community for its continued support over the past two years and a shared belief in our vision to develop a community-based market garden, education space and cafe that everyone can benefit from.”

And Friends of Leadburn Community Woodland (FLCW) will use its £41,000 funding to help purchase 23 acres of Midlothian woodland from Forestry Enterprise Scotland.

The area neighbours the group’s existing community-owned woodland near the village of Leadburn and the addition will allow improves access to the site, the development of new paths and the expansion of volunteering activities for locals.

The announcement comes on the first day of Community Land Week 2018, which highlights how ownership of land and assets can help communities direct their futures.

Watt said: “It’s wonderful to see such a wide range of community land and asset projects, from many different parts of Scotland, sharing in these Scottish Land Fund awards.”

Land Reform Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “These projects will be major assets to the communities they serve for many years to come.”

She said: “Working with partners such as the Big Lottery Fund, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the independent committee that oversees the Scottish Land Fund, this government is driving forward land reform in Scotland more than ever before.”

“A key part of that is by providing communities with the funding, the expertise, or the land to enable them to take greater control of their futures. It’s great to see a good mix of urban and rural projects being provided with that help today.”