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An additional £336,732 has been awarded to support crofters in some of Scotland’s most remote and marginal communities.
The latest round of funding sees the number of Croft House Grants awarded to crofters exceed 1,000.
The scheme helps crofters upgrade housing or build new homes, allowing them to achieve the full potential of their crofts while generating economic activity.
Since the scheme was launched in 2007, more than £21.2 million has been awarded to 1,008 families and individuals in rural and island communities.
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: ‘This is an incredibly difficult time as we continue to do everything we can to control the coronavirus outbreak and protect communities. Now more than ever, it is vital we support rural and island communities and ensure crofters can continue to contribute to the long-term sustainability of these areas.
‘I have seen first-hand the impact the Croft House Grant has had across rural Scotland which is why I am delighted to announce the number of successful applicants has now exceeded 1,000.
‘I am determined to continue helping people in crofting areas, which the Croft House Grant has a proven track record of doing.’
Yvonne White, chairwoman of the Scottish Crofting Federation, said: ‘We congratulate the Scottish Government and Rural Economy Secretary on reaching this significant milestone.
‘The Croft House Grant scheme is a recognition of the importance of crofting and its contribution to retaining population in Scotland’s most fragile rural areas.
‘We look forward to the continuation of this much-needed and successful support scheme and to continuing to work with the Scottish Government in reviewing and improving it.’
Andrew McCornick, NFU Scotland President, said: ‘It is a measure of the Croft House Grant scheme success that more than 1,000 crofters have benefited from support through the scheme to date.
‘That targeted grant support is vital in ensuring crofters can continue to live and work in fragile crofting communities, actively managing their croft while in a position to unlock any business opportunities that may come their way.
‘NFUS has welcomed the opportunity to work with the Scottish Government to improve the scheme to ensure it is directed towards those most in need of support.’