The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Ayrshire farmers urged to apply for new funding now available

By: Murdoch MacDonald

FARMERS and other land users in Ayrshire are being encouraged to join the rush for a share of the £1.6 billion Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP).

Since the SRDP’s Rural Priorities scheme was launched in April, more than 1,500 ideas to improve rural communities have been submitted.

At the Scottish Agricultural College at Auchincruive this week, farmers learned more about how to access the funding.

The open day was set to form the basis of future events around Scotland for potential applicants.

Ahead of the event, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment Richard Lochhead (pictured above) said: “The Scotland Rural Development Programme is worth a total of £1.6 billion up to 2013 and will transform rural communities and the industries that support them.

“As part of the Programme, earlier this year we launched the £800 million Rural Priorities scheme. And with more than 1,500 ‘Statements of Intent’ having been submitted, it is already attracting huge interest.

“However, we must not sit on our laurels, and I want to ensure potential applicants are aware of how to apply and the benefits they could reap.

“The Ayr open day will give rural businesses and communities in the area the chance to hear more and access advice on their applications.

“There will be the chance to informally discuss their ideas, speak to specialists and see demonstrations of good practice, all of which will help them take advantage of what SRDP offers.

“I hope all attendees enjoy the day and find it interesting and informative.”

SRDP is a historic programme which will deliver environmental, social and economic benefits to Scotland’s rural communities. Rural Priorities is part of SRDP and covers five themes:

* business viability and competitiveness
* water quality
* adaptations to mitigate climate change
* biodiversity and landscapes
* thriving rural communities

To find out more about SRDP funding and to apply, visit:

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