View Full Version : Window for croft grant

04-Mar-11, 17:25
Grant opportunity for small farmers
NFU Scotland has secured a short window of opportunity for small farmers in crofting areas to submit final applications to the Crofting Counties Agricultural Grant Scheme (CCAGS).
In the past, small farmers, provided they met the necessary economic criteria, were eligible for the scheme. However, a recent Scottish Government announcement has stated that the scheme will be shut to non-crofters after 31 March, 2011.
It was earlier stated that non-crofters must have completed the scheme’s required Economic Status Test by 28 February, 2011 to have any CCAGS claims considered by the end of March. In discussions with Scottish Government, the Union understands that small farmers can still undergo the required economic test this month, providing they still have their CCAGS application submitted by 31 March.
Chair of NFU Scotland’s Crofting, Highlands and Islands Working Group, Mrs Jo Durno said:
"It remains a disappointment that many small farmers operating in Scotland's crofting counties will eventually be denied access to much-needed funding through a non-competitive scheme like CCAGS. However, this window to apply for the required economic test, and then apply to the scheme will soften the blow before access is shut in the future. Timings remain tight so those interested in applying will have to crack on with the process.
“Small farmers had been given little warning that their access to the CCAGS scheme was to close but now, after pressure from NFUS, there is an opportunity to get the necessary tests completed and claims in promptly to allow them to be considered before 31 March.
“Once that scheme closes to small farmers, we remain concerned that they will be at a competitive disadvantage compared to their crofting neighbours even though they both face the same physical and financial pressures.
"What all active land managers in crofting areas need in the future is a fit for purpose package of non-competitive, practical measures that are adequately funded. This would allow all farmers and crofters across Scotland to contribute in different ways to securing a range of economic, environmental and social benefits. Such an overhaul must form part of the on-going deliberations about the next Scotland Rural Development Programme."