£7 million funding to support new businesses.
Over £7 million has been awarded to help create and develop around 140 new farming businesses across Scotland.
This funding, from the EU and the Scottish Government, will support the next generation of farmers and increase opportunities for young people to establish a career in agriculture. This latest award sees a further 35 new farm businesses from across Scotland sharing over £1.8 million to help create and develop new enterprises.
Attracting a steady flow of young and new farmers and crofters forms part of activity to build growth in the rural economy, while helping to address the issue of the average age of farmers in Scotland continuing to increase.
Announcing the funding allocation, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity Fergus Ewing said;
“Supporting the next generation of farmers and crofters is a key priority to help build growth in our rural economy and create thriving communities. It is therefore crucial that there is a steady inflow of young and new entrants to farming, not only to promote competition and encourage productivity, but also ensure the sector remains sustainable over the long-term.
“With the average age of Scottish farmers currently sitting at 58, it is vital that we provide support for entrepreneurs in the critical early stages. That is why I am delighted to announce a further £1.8 million in grant funding to support a further 35 new farm enterprises. This brings the total support from the EU and Scottish Government to over £7 million, supporting the development and creation of around 140 new farms all over Scotland.
“Following the outcome of the EU referendum, I know that industry is particularly concerned about what the result means for the future of farming and for funding support. Today’s announcement I hope reassures that we are getting on with the everyday business of government, providing certainty and clarity in very uncertain times.”
Scottish Association of Young Farmers said;
“SAYFC welcomes this increased investment and continued commitment from the Scottish government to the young farmers start up scheme. This money will bring welcome support to fledgling businesses, utilising the talents of our young and dynamic farming newcomers. However, for this scheme to deliver true success additional funds must be secured for the duration of the SRDP scheme to allow future businesses to similarly benefit from opportunities as they arise.”
The Young Farmers and New Entrants Start-up Schemes – part of the Scottish Rural Development Programme – aims to support the next generation of eligible farmers with start-up aid of €70,000 and €15,000 respectively. The funding is linked to the delivery of a business plan with agriculture as its core activity such as the acquisition of land or livestock.
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