News

Undoing damage and creating stability

Published: 02 Feb 2021 00:01

Support for hardest hit communities and sectors.

Investment in Scotland’s Tourism and Rural Economy has increased to £1.12 billion, prioritising those sectors, businesses and communities disproportionately impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) and EU Exit.

This includes delivering over £613 million in ongoing agricultural support which will provide much-needed stability allowing to farmers, crofters and land managers to start to deliver activities which will help us meet our world leading climate change targets through sector led groups. 

In addition there will be a sustained increase in funding with £121.2 million for Forestry and Land Scotland and Scottish Forestry to deliver increased woodland creation, tackle climate change and deliver additional economic and employment opportunities.

Addressing recommendations of the Tourism Recovery Taskforce, £55 million has been allocated to undo the disproportionate damage to tourism caused by COVID and to protect jobs and businesses across the country.

The 2021-22 Scottish Budget proposals also include:

  • £103 million for rural enterprise bodies supporting green recovery in our most fragile communities and work to deliver the national mission for jobs as well as protecting existing jobs and businesses
  • £40 million for the Agricultural Transformation Programme to help deliver the target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 and improve environmental sustainability
  • £14 million to support and enhance the seafood sectors - sea fisheries, aquaculture seafood processing sectors and the marine environment
  • doubling the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund to £6.2 million to tackle visitor management issues and boost visitor facilities such as car parks and toilets
  • £5 million investment to deliver year two of the Food & Drink Sector recovery plan supporting recovery from COVID and mitigation of Brexit consequences

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Tourism Fergus Ewing said:

“The past year has taken a major toll on people and businesses. This Budget allows us to prioritise investment to help undo the damage of COVID in our fragile and hardest hit communities and sectors.

“With this investment we will ensure stability across the rural economy, create green jobs, cut emissions, address climate change and enhance our environment. This funding will also support the resumption of domestic tourism when the time is right.

“But I know COVID isn’t the only issue affecting businesses across my portfolio. We’re seeing businesses struggle due to the impact of Brexit, with additional costs being incurred because of bureaucracy and loss of funding from the EU.

“We continue to press the UK Government for more clarity on future funding for farming and fisheries. Our food producers and rural communities face a £170 million gap in CAP EU replacement over four years and Scottish Fisheries have had only £14 million made available by the UK Government instead of the £62 million they were seeking. I will not rest until this money is back where it belongs, in the pockets of Scotland’s people and businesses.”

Background

The 2021-22 Scottish Budget