Latest green Government funding round opens for rural businesses

Rural businesses urged to apply for the latest round of the Agri-Environment Climate Scheme to realise the economic and environmental benefits of low carbon farming

Farmers, crofters and land managers can bid for a slice of a fund designed to promote low carbon farming and protect the environment.
You have until March 31 to apply for the funding, according to Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing, who launched the latest round of the Agri-Environment Climate Scheme (AECS), which could help to:
  • Protect vulnerable and iconic species and habitats
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture
  • Secure carbon stores in peatlands and other organic soils
  • Improve water quality by reducing diffuse pollution
  • Control flooding through natural flood risk management
  • Support organic farming
  • Preserve the historic environment
  • Improve public access.
Since launching in 2015 1,573 applications have been approved, committing £103.9 million to rural businesses.
Ewing said: “This approach to land management is not only good for the planet, but also good for food producers’ pockets. We want Scotland to be a world-class producer of high quality food: sustainably, profitably and efficiently in environmental and economic terms.
“The farming and food production sector is key to achieving this ambition – change will only happen with the involvement of primary food producers, that’s why I would encourage rural businesses to apply for this latest round of the Agri-Environment Climate Scheme so they can realise the economic and environmental benefits of low carbon farming.
“The funding can be used to improve water quality, protect land and support organic farming and importantly it will help us meet our ambitious climate change targets.
“We recently published a draft Climate Change Plan which sets out a package of policies and proposals that will help maintain Scotland’s reputation as a climate leader within the international community.
“Rural businesses can support these ambitions through the Agri-Environment Climate Scheme and help us create a fairer, greener, more prosperous nation.”
The scheme is delivered jointly by the Rural Payments and Inspections Division (RPID) of the Scottish Government and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).
To find out more, or to apply, click here