MacPhee and Partners’ Community Land Team – West Highland Museum

MacPhee and Partners’ Community Land Team recently acted on behalf of local clients, The West Highland Museum Trust in connection with their purchase of 40 High Street, Fort William. 

Such purchase is part of larger plans for the expansion of the museum and involved funding from the Scottish Land Fund.  This work also involved a re-organisation and re-structure of the museums’ business to a more modern legal entity followed by the acquisition of this property.  These are part of the museum’s exciting plans for development and expansion.

The Chairman of the West Highland Museum Trust, John Hutchison, commented:

 “The Museum has engaged MacPhee and Partners over many years and from other projects I became aware that the firm has been building experience in the community land sector.  Apart from aspiring to purchase land, community bodies need to move with the times and refresh their governance too.  We were grateful for the prompt, no-fuss, advice that we obtained from the MacPhee team.   From the outset they recognised that we had some in-house skills so we jointly agreed who would do what, to ensure that nothing fell through the net.  This allowed a small charity like ours to stay in control of the timing of the process and the costs.  We appreciated this collaborative approach.”    

The Firm’s Community Land Team, headed up Managing Partner, Christine MacKay, assisted by Gary Somers, Solicitor and Rebecca Fraser, Solicitor have a number of interesting community land projects ongoing at the moment. Bringing in the experience from the Firm’s accredited crofting specialists, Duncan MacPhee and Jeremy Benfield, when required, the Firm assists and advises community bodies in connection with the acquisitions of land and obtaining all necessary associated rights, such as servitudes for rights of access, water etc, clawback agreements and such.

The Firm also advise in respect of corporate restructuring, which is often necessary for these bodies. Perhaps for the first time in a number of years, these bodies will seek to modernise their constitution and/or restructure from Trusts to Private Companies Limited by Guarantee and Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations, liaising with the OSCR when necessary.

Being members of Community Land Scotland, the body which represents Scotland’s new generation of community land owners, the Firm find such work both very interesting and highly rewarding.

If you are involved with a community body or are thinking of setting one up, please do get in touch with our Community Land Team using the following contact details:

Gary Somers –
[email protected] or 01397 701000