Funding news - 01/03/2017
New Funding and Land on the Horizon for New Entrants and New Farmers
The Scottish Government has announced plans to increase funding and land for young farmers.
At the “New Entrants to Farming Gathering” on 28 February 2017, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing acknowledged that the £8 million budget allocated for the young farmer and new entrant start-up grant schemes is not likely to be enough to cover demand.
Speaking before an audience of over 100 young people at the Perth Racecourse, Mr Ewing stated that: “It’s clear that there is a greater appetite (for support) than we were able to satisfy with the original budget”. The Scottish Government has already committed £7 million through the young farmer and new entrant schemes, supporting approximately 120 farmers. Round three applications are still undergoing assessment, and are likely to break the original £8 million budget.
The Farming Opportunities for New Entrants was established last year with the intention of increasing the amount of public land that new entrant farmers may use. Going forward, various small units have been identified that will eventually be available for leasing purposes.
According to Mr Ewing: “Land owned by Forestry Enterprise Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Water and Orkney Islands is being considered and there will be news about that in the coming months”. Furthermore, there has been some engagement with private landowners and estates in order to “persuade and encourage” them to ensure that more land is available to rent.
It is expected that the Scottish Government will soon reveal further details regarding new opportunities in terms of extra funding and land for young farmers.
For further information, interested parties should visit the Scottish Government website
Source: Scottish Government, 01/03/2017