Roadshows intended to shape the future of SRDP

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IN A separate move yesterday, the Scottish Government announced a series of roadshows intended to shape the future of the Scottish rural development programme (SRDP).

The current programme distributes funds to projects as varied as village halls, support for less favoured areas, agri-environment schemes and farm diversification, but it is nearing its completion and a structure for the new one has still to be agreed.

Rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead said the current SRDP had delivered around £1.2 billion of support to rural Scotland, but the budget for the next one would be tighter as the UK government had not argued strongly enough for a fairer share of funding for Scotland in the common agricultural policy reform negotiations.

“However, we’re determined to make sure there will still be excellent opportunities to continue to support economic growth, develop vibrant rural communities and further utilise Scotland’s natural environment and heritage,” he said.

NFU Scotland said the government had to uphold the clear public commitment it made to the less favoured area scheme when it was re-elected in 2011.