Aileen Campbell, SNP MSP for South of Scotland, has welcomed the launch of a new ?2.4million fund by the Scottish Government to help farmers and other land managers harness Scotland's renewable energy potential.

The funding, announced by Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Richard Lochhead at the National Farmer’s Union Scotland’s Annual General Meeting in St Andrews, will form part of the Scottish Government's existing Communities and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) Loan Fund, which from April will be opened up to farmers and other land managers for the first time.

The expanded fund will build on the CARES grants scheme that, last year alone, supported 300 community-based projects, which are expected to generate well over 20 million pounds over the next 20 years. The ?7.75 million CARES scheme includes support and advice at a local level. It is open to community groups, land managers, local businesses and co-operatives working in partnership with community groups. To access the fund, land managers should form partnerships with local communities to share revenue.

Commenting, Aileen Campbell MSP said:

"Scotland’s great potential for renewable energy can deliver not only important environmental benefits but also significant economic opportunities.

"Farmers can often find that while there are real benefits to be obtained from renewables, they are put off pursuing schemes because of the expense of reaching the pre-planning stage.

"This ?2.4million of funding from the SNP Scottish Government will help cover some of the risks farmers may feel as they take on renewable energy projects - provided there is an element of community benefit.

"I would encourage all land managers in the Clydesdale area to look at how this opportunity can help them benefit from nature, assist their communities and help Scotland maximise its potential from the renewable energy revolution."



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Aileen Campbell MSP, Kirkton Chambers, 12 Kirkton Street, Carluke ML8 4AB • 01555 750 249 • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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