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Loan Support For Remote Rural Areas

7th February 2019

Less Favoured Areas loan scheme confirmed.

Up to £57 million will be injected into some of Scotland's most remote and rural communities, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing has confirmed.

Hill farmers and crofters will be offered a nationally-funded loan of up to 90% of their Less Favoured Area Support Scheme (LFASS) 2018 entitlement, with payments beginning in April.

Announcing the scheme ahead of the annual National Farmers Union Scotland AGM, he said:"I am acutely aware of the continuing importance of LFASS for farmers and crofters operating in the most remote and marginalised areas, which is why I am making these loans available.

“We are due to leave the EU at the end of March and the risk of leaving with no deal in place is growing. All the analysis suggests this would be catastrophic for Scotland’s rural economy, and particularly challenging for livestock farmers, many of whom are farming in less favourable areas. I am therefore determined to provide as much financial support and stability as I can so all eligible farmers and crofters will be offered a loan of up to 90% of their 2018 entitlement, with payments beginning in April.

“More widely, I am working tirelessly on finding a solution to continue to deliver funding under LFASS at approximately 100% for this year and the next two scheme years within the context of changes to EU regulations and budgetary constraints.

“My priority remains to protect and grow our rural economy and I encourage all eligible farmers and crofters to strongly consider taking up the loan offer."

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