From a total of £20 million in Rural Priorities funding across Scotland, more than £700,000 has been allocated to Argyll.
Importantly. new entrants to farming in Scotland will benefit from a £5 million boost as part of the latest round of funding frm this scheme.
Its support will protect and create around 1,200 jobs across Scotland and brings the total amount distributed to date, since its launch in 2008. to almost £550 million.
Around £710,000 will be invested in eight projects in Argyll, backing a range of schemes to support business development and rural enterprise across the region.
Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead, making the announcements, said: ‘This latest round of more than £20 million of Rural Priorities funding will provide much needed support to rural and community enterprises and businesses across rural Scotland.
‘This investment will safeguard and create around 1,200 jobs across Scotland, vital to sustaining our rural economy.
‘The funding will support a wide variety of projects in Argyll from developing a seafood smokehouse in Tarbert to establishing a new woodfuel supply business to add value to local timber.
‘I am also delighted that almost £5 million of this funding is targeted at supporting new entrants to farming, a key priority which the Government has outlined to enhance the future of Scottish agriculture.
‘A further £11 million of the total will support climate change targets, a key national outcome, which will also help improve the viability of existing farming businesses.
‘Over the past five years, Rural Priorities has delivered around £548 million worth of Scottish Government and EU funding into thousands of projects, resulting in a diverse range of benefits to rural Scotland, while stimulating business activity and supporting the economy.
‘This vital funding under the Scotland Rural Development Programme will continue to deliver wider economic and environmental benefits to local communities for many years to come.’
Amongst the Argyll projects approved in this round are:
Corachie Clematis Garden Centre in Bridge of Awe, Argyll – which has been awarded £51,408 to help establish a wood fuel micro-business for local domestic supply. The project will involve building a new timber processing and storage shed and poly tunnel and purchasing machinery to process and package logs. This will diversify the existing horticulture retail business by taking advantage of a market opportunity in the local wood fuel processing and supply chain, while adding value to a primary forest product.
Skipness Estates which has been awarded £127,159 to develop a smokehouse facility for their seafood business in Tarbert. The family run business has established a demand for local smoked fish products. The project will involve using redundant buildings to create the smokehouse and provide upgraded equipment.
This is the twelfth round of funding under Rural Priorities and focuses mainly on Axis 1 (business development) and Axis 3 (rural communities and rural enterprise) projects. Further case studies from this round are available on the Scottish Government website here.
Rural Priorities is a competitive funding mechanism under the Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP). It delivers targeted environmental, social and economic benefits to 11 designated regions of Scotland.
The priorities for each region are agreed with local stakeholders and contracts are awarded for the proposals which are best able to deliver those priorities. More information on Rural Priorities is available here.