A croft in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland

Scotland committing to supporting improvements in rural communities

The Scottish Government has announced that it is making larger sums of money available for crofters across Scotland, as part of plans to improve homes in remote and rural communities.

As part of the Croft House Grant, increased funding is being released to ensure that more crofters and their families can benefit from home improvements. The increase brings the percentage of total project cost covered from 40% to 60%, with a maximum grant allocation of £36,000.

Not only does this funding allow crofters to improve their homes, it also supports them to build new homes. This will help them to maximise the full potential of their crofts as well as retaining and attracting more people to remote and rural communities across Scotland.

Mairi Gougeon, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands, said:

“Crofters are so important to our rural and island communities. They play an integral role contributing to the long-term sustainability of these often fragile areas.

“The Croft House Grant enables crofters to enjoy the full potential of their crofts while generating economic success – and I have seen first-hand the difference it can make.

“We must do all we can to attract and retain people in our crofting communities, particularly young families. That’s why we are committed to continuing and improving this vital support.”

The Scottish Crofting Federation’s Chief Executive, Patrick Krause, said:

“Housing and fuel poverty are major issues we face in rural Scotland, and, despite the soaring costs, we need more homes, homes that are ecologically sound. So this is very welcome news.

“It is heartening to see Scottish Government adding to a very effective scheme that has helped hundreds of families to get established, and particularly in helping with improvements to existing buildings, upgrading to be more environmentally efficient, extending and bringing older buildings back into use. It is a win for all.”

In total, 28 crofters and their families benefitted from the grants last year, with £850,000 being awarded by the Scottish Government. Since 2007, when the scheme was launched, more than £24.2 million has been awarded.

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