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MEMO/08/37

Brussels, 24 January 2008

Rural Development Plan for Scotland

Region profile:

  • Includes the convergence programme for the Highlands and Islands of Scotland and the Competitiveness programme for lowland and upland Scotland.
  • Rural areas account for 98% of land mass and 19% of population.
  • Primary sector accounts for 11% of employment.
  • Agricultural land covers 80% of Scottish territory but harsh climate, poor soils and mountainous terrain limits land use. 85% classified LFA and most is rough grazing. Only 10% of the UAA is used for crops, fallow and set-aside.
  • Average farm size 101 ha. However, 39% of holdings are less than 5 ha, particularly in the North and West where the "crofting" system[1] is important.
  • Forest covers 17.1% of Scotland, a substantial proportion of which is under state ownership.
  • 2.2% of the total workforce in Scotland (5% of the rural workforce) is employed in agriculture.
  • 1.2% of the total workforce is employed in food manufacturing.
  • Tourism plays an important role in the Scottish rural economy.

Chosen strategy corresponding to the profile

  • Support business viability, add value to the rural economy and facilitate increased market orientation.
  • Support a coherent and integrated approach to meet environmental objectives.
  • Encourage private enterprise and entrepreneurship, improve services and infrastructure at local level& support Scotland's cultural opportunities.
  • Support capacity building and innovation.

Overall budget and share of EU funding

A financial aid of € 2,133.3 million of which € 676.3 million is EU financed, including € 317 million from voluntary modulation (47%), has been allocated to the Rural Development Programme for Scotland for the period 2007- 2013.

Axis
Total Public Expenditure (in €)
Share of EAFRD (in %)
EAFRD Contribution (in €)
Axis 1
305 951 943
31.54
96 497 745
Axis 2
1 468 678 865
31.54
463 223 724
Axis 3
247 767 585
31.54
78 146 303
LEADER
107 544 354
35
37 640 524
Technical assistance
3 338 592
25
834 648
Total
2 133 281 340
31.7
676 342 944

* EAFRD: European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development

Overall aim of RD programme

  • Support business viability, add value to the rural economy and facilitate increased market orientation and co-operation.
  • Support a coherent and integrated approach to meet environmental objectives, landscape and biodiversity, water quality and tackling climate change.
  • Encourage private enterprise and entrepreneurship, improve services and infrastructure at local level & support Scotland's cultural opportunities.
  • Support capacity building and innovation.

Axis 1 budget allocation and main priorities:

Total budget: € 305,951,943 - EAFRD contribution: € 96,497,745

Main priorities: Modernisation of agricultural holdings (32% of total public expenditure for axis 1), Adding value to agriculture and forestry products (26% of axis 1 total public expenditure) & vocational training (18% of total public expenditure). Other measures include: setting up of young farmers, use of advisory services, improvement of the economic value of forests, co-operation for the development of new products, infrastructure related to adaptation and development.

Axis 2 budget allocation and main priorities:

Total budget: € 1,468,678,865 - EAFRD contribution: € 463,223,724

Main priorities: Less Favoured Areas (42% of total public expenditure for axis 2); Agri-environment payments (30% of axis 2 total public expenditure) including organic farming and 1st afforestation of agricultural and non-agricultural land (16% axis 2 total public expenditure). Other measures include: non-productive environmental investments and forest environment payments.

Axes 3 budget allocation and main priorities:

Total budget: € 247,767,585 - EAFRD contribution: € 78,146,303

Main priorities: Encouragement of tourism activities (37% of axis 3 total public expenditure); Basic services for the economy and rural population (20% of axis 3 total public expenditure) & Diversification into non-agricultural activities (16% of axis 3 total public expenditure) and business creation and development (15% of axis 3 total public expenditure). Other measures include: Conservation & upgrading of the rural heritage, training and information, skills acquisition & animation.

Leader budget allocation:

Total budget: € 107,544,354 – EAFRD contribution: € 37,640,524

Leader may be used to deliver objectives across all 3 axes, but it is anticipated that it will mainly focus on axis 3.

See also: http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/rurdev/index_en.htm


[1] The "croft" usually provides grazing rights in an area of common grazing shared with a number of other crofts. In 2005, there were around 17 800 crofts in Scotland and 14 000 crofters.


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