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A scheme that provides capital grants to new farm businesses will be closed, after exceeding its specified objectives.
The New Entrants Capital Grant Scheme, which is a key plank of the Scottish Rural Development Programme, will continue to accept applications until 31 August.
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said:
“The Scottish Government has been doing a lot to attract new entrants to Scottish Farming, which helps to drive the industry forward and encourage innovation. Our new entrant schemes have been integral to that, and have proved to be very popular.
“Through the Capital Grants Scheme we’ve provided over £8 million of grants in the past four years to help over 600 applicants to invest in agricultural buildings, drainage projects, and fencing and livestock equipment. That’s made a real difference to getting new, and often younger people into farming.
“It’s testament to the popularity of the scheme that we’ve now met and exceeded our objectives for the scheme. That’s after injecting an extra £2 million into the Rural Development Programme just last year.
“We were the only part of the UK to include this type of grant scheme in our rural development programme – the success of which prompted our counterparts in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to replicate their own versions.
“Encouraging new, and younger people to the industry, is of course a priority of this government and we will continue to explore how we can maximise the opportunity for a new generation of farmers and crofters. We recently published our proposal document for the future of Scotland’s agriculture, which outlined a number of measures which we believe will encourage new entrants.
“Meantime I would encourage those who have begun the application process, to get their applications in before 31 August.”