Salmond Welcomes £60m Boost For Rural Priorities

>> 8 June 2010

Gordon MSP Alex Salmond has warmly welcomed the latest round of payments made through the Scottish Government’s ‘Rural priorities’ scheme, which will see the Grampian area benefit to the tune of £10.2 million.

The latest round of payments will see £60 released to invest in rural projects across Scotland, which will bring significant environmental, social and economic benefits to their areas, creating an estimated 530 new jobs and safeguarding 430 more.

Rural Secretary Richard Lochhead said that hundreds of projects are now complete, making a real difference to Scotland's rural communities.

Mr Lochhead said:

"This is another major investment in rural Scotland that will lead to the creation of new businesses, new community facilities and a range of environmental projects.

"It is hugely encouraging to see so many applications coming forward that will boost the rural economy through job creation and others that will deliver major environmental benefits.

"Rural Priorities alone has now approved around £330 million which will also develop our rural communities, protect Scotland's natural environment and combat climate change.

"We are looking ahead to future rounds to determine how best to keep up the momentum from Rural Priorities and ensure it continues to deliver for future years."

Welcoming the news, Mr Salmond added:

“Rural Priorities is a vital element in the support which the Scottish Government is offering to strengthen the economy and improve the environment in our rural areas.

“I’m particularly pleased to see that the North East has managed to do so well out of the current round of allocations.

"As we all know, these are difficult economic times, so the creation of 530 jobs and the safeguarding of more across the country will be a welcome boost to our rural areas.”

To date, £330 million has been approved under the Rural Priorities scheme, funding around 4,500 projects in rural Scotland. The grants provide both environmental and business support, with some grants being paid over the course of several years to ensure that habitats are properly maintained.

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