Publication - FOI/EIR release

Review of Small Farm Grant Scheme: EIR release

Published: 22 Jul 2020

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004

Published:
22 Jul 2020
Review of Small Farm Grant Scheme: EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/202000050633
Date received: 18 Jun 2020
Date responded: 1 Jul 2020
Information requested

Regarding the Small Farms Grant Scheme (SFGS).

Response

The Scottish Government set out its proposals for future agriculture funding in its June 2018 consultation ‘Stability and Simplicity’ which follows four principles – stability, simplicity, sustainability and security. These proposals set out the approach for future rural policy until 2024. 

It will allow for a 5 year transition period, as recommended by the Scottish Government’s Agriculture Champions, to provide people in rural businesses with as much security as possible. The approach comprises of:

  • a period of stability, with little change to the current system, until end 2020, followed by:
  • a period of simplicity, where simplifications and improvements will be made, and potential new
  • schemes for longer term policy will be piloted, between 2021-2024.

Where possible, “CAP Schemes” will be simplified to reflect the conclusions of the Simplification Task Force.

Unfortunately, whilst it is still our intention to progress plans in line with ‘Stability and Simplicity’, our wider engagement with stakeholders has been delayed. Following the Covid-19 health crisis, much of our work has been interrupted whilst we work on rural recovery plans. In addition, we must also await the outcome of the UK and Scottish Government spending reviews, which are expected in late 2020.

In 2019 as part of our internal process we reviewed all of our schemes, including CAGS and the SFGS. The work on the CAGS review commenced earlier in the process and that is why it continues in advance of the review of other schemes.

The original SFGS budget allocation was approximately £1m per year, however, scheme budget allocations for any given year are based to some extent, depending on the scheme, on the uptake of previous years. Accordingly, the annual budget for the scheme has changed over the years.

It is important to point out that no SFGS application has ever been refused on the grounds of there being insufficient budget. I can also confirm that the SFGS remains open and is accepting new applications.

The financial figures you requested are as follows:
 

Small

Farms Grant Scheme

 

2015

 

2016

 

2017

 

2018

 

2019

 

2020

 

Total

No. of Applications

38

23

23

40

42

17

183

Approvals Awarded

3

19

10

15

27

7

81

£ Awarded

41,058.57

128,743.99

66,181.82

115,188.69

168,249.11

77,939.91

597,362.09

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG