Rural and Environment
This week: Clean energy, South of Scotland funding and Crown Estate consultation
£1 million funding for South of Scotland Enterprise
Projects to develop rural skills, community enterprises and female-led businesses are the latest recipients of more than £1 million from the South of Scotland Economic Partnership (SOSEP).
The Partnership has awarded a total of £1,045,184 to five projects, including an initiative to improve Galashiels Town Centre and attract more visitors to the area.
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing announced the funding. He said:
“The Scottish Government, working with SOSEP, is determined to help the South of Scotland to realise its full economic potential. We’re doing that by targeted investments in projects which we believe will act as the catalysts for creating new businesses, providing vital skills, and making the region an even more attractive place to visit.
“The work of SOSEP, the establishment of a new enterprise body for the region, and the £85 million we are investing in the Borderlands inclusive Growth Deal, underline our commitment to continuing to deliver for the South of Scotland and its people.”
Brexit loan reassurance
Responding to concerns around the impact of Brexit on the National Basic Payment Support loan scheme, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said:
“Let me be absolutely clear, should an individual or business accept our loan offer, they will receive their entitlement regardless of the eventual Brexit outcome.
“I can also reassure people that should they accept a loan offer, we would expect to recover the loan against CAP payments. We will not be seeking early repayment from recipients in the event of no deal.
“We have made this offer specifically to help them with the potentially significant impact of Brexit.
“That is why the Scottish Government has so far issued 16,500 loan offers (with further offers to be issued shortly) at the increased rate of up to 95%, which will deliver more money to farmers and crofters through this mechanism than ever before.
“I believe there has never been a more important time for rural businesses to take the necessary steps to ensure that they are as prepared as possible for whatever Brexit outcome may be delivered.
“As such, I continue to urge all eligible farmers, crofters and land managers to accept their loan offer. With payments beginning in early October, the sooner we receive their acceptance form, the sooner we can get their payment out to them.”
Food for life meals
Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon welcomed the 100,000th food for life daily meal at Ardgowan Primary School in Greenock.
Fergus Ewing participated in collecting seed from bumper crop to help increase Scotland’s tree growing capacity and climate emergency response.
Crown Estate consultation
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham welcomed the launch of the Scottish Crown Estate Strategic Management Plan consultation.