A PRIMARY school in Newhaven that was about to fall empty is set for a new role at the centre of the community following a £792,000 award from the Scottish Land Fund.

Heart of Newhaven Community (NDC) has been given the funding in order to purchase Victoria Primary School and turn it into a hub for local groups, as well as space for an early years daycare nursery.

Environment and Land Reform Minister Mairi McAllan announced the funding, as well as three other grants, while visiting EATS Rosyth which in November received £284,500 from the Scottish Land Fund.

The money was awarded in order to purchase a disused Clydesdale Bank building to relocate and expand community activities around cooking and food.

McAllan said: “Communities across Scotland are achieving great things with support from the Scottish Land Fund. These awards will be a boost to the four communities who’ve worked so hard to keep their projects going through all the challenges of the last year.

“Visiting the Rosyth Community Garden and Orchard has shown the value of placing ownership and decision-making in the hands of local communities.”

Stephen Lynas, chairman of EATS Rosyth, said: “Following a successful round of fundraising and getting in place the various consents required, we will be starting the renovation works for our new hub premises in the very near future.

“We’re looking forward to providing a brand-new community facility that will give us a fantastic platform to grow our services and support our local community in Rosyth and Southwest Fife.”

Rodney Matthews, chair of Heart of Newhaven Community, added: “This grant will cover the purchase price of the property and help with initial development costs.

“While the date when the children will move into their new school in Western Harbour is not yet known, we are now able to move forward confidently with our plans for what is a much-loved icon of Newhaven.”

Other projects benefiting during the current round of funding include Forgan Art Centre, which has been given £292,800 to buy the Leng Home, a disused care home in Newport on Tay and turn it into a space for social and economic activities and to increase social interaction.

Carluke Development Trust has been awarded £112,000 to buy a two-storey house adjacent to Carluke High Mill, which the Trust already owns. This will allow it to continue its project to reduce dereliction and promote regeneration in the town.

And Edinbane Community Company on Skye has been given £135,000 with which to buy three serviced building plots on which it plans to erect six affordable homes that will be rented to the community.