£4.2 million in grants announced to support new farmers

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Rural secretary Fergus Ewing has confirmed £4.2 million in grants will be made available to support new farmers to pursue a career in agriculture.

The latest award sees 81 successful applicants receive a share of the funding, which will help to create and develop their businesses.

Announcing the funding, Mr Ewing said: ‘It’s vital to the sustainability of agriculture in Scotland that we do everything in our power to encourage new entrants to farming.

‘With the average age of Scottish farmers currently close to 60 years old, there is, of course, an emphasis on encouraging young people to farming, but new entrants of any age are welcome and can help to drive innovation and improve best practice across the industry, while contributing to the economic vitality of the sector.

‘Today’s funding announcement brings the total funding from EU and Scottish Government to more than £13.8 million, supporting the development and creation of almost 256 new farms across Scotland.’

The funding is part of the New Entrant Start-Up Grant (NESUG) and Young Farmer Start-Up Grant schemes (YFSUG), resulting in 23 NESUG and 58 YFSUGs applications being approved.