Drop-in Session: Tuesday 25th February 3pm - 7pm, Queen's Hall, Dunoon

The Dunoon Project is a hugely ambitious and imaginative initiative being progressed by the community of Dunoon, an historic seaside resort on the banks of the Clyde in Scotland. The initiative has been developed within the community specifically to reverse their socio-economic plight as flagged in the Argyll & Bute Economic Forum findings in 2016 where Dunoon was identified as one of four towns deserving attention as a result of major decline or stagnation in population.

At this time the community has identified an ambitious project package - The Dunoon Project - based on introducing a gondola to carry people from the sea to the summit of Kilbride Hill behind the town.  The early thinking around the Dunoon Project is highlighted in the 2016 Economic Forum report as exactly the type of product and service which will attract paying visitors from the central belt and further afield. 

Corlarach Forest

The Corlarach Forest is situated to the south west of Dunoon and covers a large part of the Cowal Peninsula. 

The Dunoon Project is planning to acquire the Corlarach Forest under the terms of the Community Empowerment Act 2015 and then enter a long term lease with the investors to own and manage the timber resource on the land in exchange for a rental to be used for community regeneration. 



The Feasibility Study was completed in May 2019. We are pleased to report that the feasibility study provided confidence to the steering group and investors that the project has the capability to provide the social and economic value that will attract public and private sector support for the project. It provided us with the confidence to proceed with our Community Asset Transfer (CATS) application to Forestry Land Scotland (FLS).

The Community Asset Transfer Application (CATS) framework sets out how eligible community bodies can request to purchase land to deliver their project. The eligibility requirements for CATS are set out in the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015.

In response the Dunoon Project Team has registered a Company Limited by Guarantee to act as the community body in the acquisition of Corlarach Forest.

To support the project Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has provided funding allowing us to employ ruralDimensions (www.ruraldimensions.com) as project coordinators. Their knowledge and experience will be invaluable in assisting us to develop a comprehensive application. We welcome them to the team.

Land Aquisition

Corlarach Forest is currently owned by the State and managed by Forestry Land Scotland and we are looking to acquire it under the Community Empowerment legislation

Meetings are to be held with Forestry Land Scotland (FLS) to discuss our CATS application, specifically:

  • Our Community Proposal – why we want to acquire the land, how we plan to use it and the benefits it will generate for Dunoon, the Cowal Peninsula and the Argyll and Bute region.
  • The Level of Community Support - details of the level and nature of support for the request, from our community and other relevant stakeholders.

Further meetings will be scheduled with FLS to support our CATS application.

To support our CATS application the steering board has engaged ekosgen (www.ekosgen.co.uk), a specialist economic development and regeneration consultancy, to support the continued development of the economic impact assessment initially identified in the Feasibility Study.

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