Former Water Tower Transferred to Community Ownership in Moray

19 June 2019
Exchange of title deed, Keith Golf Club Seniors, Club Captain, MSP Richard Lochhead and Scottish Water Estates Surveyor

Title Deed Transfer

Pictured: Keith Golf Club Captain Ian Wilson, Club Seniors, local MSP Richard Lochhead and Natalie Alexander, Scottish Water Estates Surveyor 

“I’ve nothing but praise for the folks who give up their time to ensure the Golf Club continues to be successful and I’m grateful to Scottish Water for working with them to achieve this positive outcome.”

Richard Lochhead
MSP for Moray
Ownership of a former water tower in Moray has been passed from Scottish Water to the Keith Golf Club using the guidelines set out in the Community Empowerment Act.

The community-run Golf Club has leased a ground level storage area at the water tower for many years to house green keeping equipment and other materials.  When the tower ceased to be used for public water supply purposes and was disconnected from the local network, the Club began negotiations to secure their long term use of the facility.

The Community Empowerment Act was introduced by the Scottish Government in 2015 to give local communities the opportunity to acquire, lease or manage properties for which there are clear benefits in passing over to their control. 

Established in the 1960s, the club currently has around 140 members and offers open membership to those living within the town of Keith. For decades the Club has been an important social hub contributing to the wellbeing of the local community. Standing over the closing holes of the course, transfer of ownership ensures the water tower continues to be available for use by the local community for the long term.

The transfer is a first for Scottish Water under the new legislation.

Ian Wilson, Keith Golf Club Captain said: “We’re extremely pleased to now be official owners of the tower, an asset the club and surrounding community can benefit from. We’re truly delighted to have got to this point.” 

Richard Lochhead MSP for Moray added: “The team at Keith Golf Club have put in a phenomenal amount of work to get to this stage and it’s great that the old water tower is now under their ownership – I know this will make a big difference to long term sustainability of the Club. 
 
“The Golf Club plays a key role in the community and I’m pleased that we’ve managed to secure the community asset transfer that the committee have been hoping for. I’ve nothing but praise for the folks who give up their time to ensure the Golf Club continues to be successful and I’m grateful to Scottish Water for working with them to achieve this positive outcome.”

Natalie Alexander, Estates Surveyor for Scottish Water concluded: “We are pleased to have reached this stage having worked amicably and closely with the Keith Golf Club to reach a positive outcome. The transfer of ownership of the tower will help contribute to the wellbeing of the local community and protect its continued use for the long term.

“This is the first asset transfer adopting the guidance within the Community Empowerment Act that Scottish Water has been involved with to date and aligns with our goal to promote a flourishing Scotland. We are delighted to support this and other opportunities where community-based groups have the passion and capabilities to take over assets that are no longer needed and to put them to good use for local people. We expect to be involved in further successful asset transfer requests in the near future.”