Housing & Healthcare Boost Among Commitments
Graeme has welcomed the First Minister’s Programme for Government as an important demonstration of the SNP’s commitment to Scotland’s rural communities.
The 2023/24 Programme for Government includes a raft of measures to support people and businesses in Scotland’s rural communities.
£550 million funding will be directed to Scottish farmers and crofters – with payments beginning in September – to tackle climate change, cut emissions, and restore nature. The SNP government will also introduce an Agriculture Bill, creating a new framework for support for rural economies.
By the end of 2023, an action plan will have been launched for housing in rural and island areas – with 10% of affordable housing to be delivered in rural and island communities. Also launching is the National Centre for Remote and Rural Healthcare to improve rural access to GP services, and the Land Reform Bill will seek to empower communities by providing more opportunities to own land and have more say in how land in their area is used.
These actions sit alongside continued investment in woodland creation and peatland restoration – supporting rural businesses, skills and jobs – as well as a commitment to aquaculture pilots. And up to £14 million of grant funding through the Marine Fund Scotland will support projects to deliver improved social, environmental and economic outcomes in line with the Blue Economy Vision.
The numerous commitments are underpinned by a letter from First Minister Humza Yousaf to the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Land Reform and Islands, which agrees the objectives to be achieved in the year 2023/24.