Rural Economy and the Environment
- Since October 2011 approximately £240 million has been invested through the Scotland Rural Development Programme ( SRDP) as capital grants for Rural Priorities, Land Managers Options, Agri-environment Climate Scheme, Forestry Grant Scheme, New Entrants Capital and Start Up Grants, Young Farmers Start Up Grant Crofting Counties Agricultural Grants and Food Processing, Cooperation and Marketing.
- The AFRC Futures Programme (Agriculture, Food and Rural Communities) was initiated in 2012 as an ICT enabled business transformation programme to re- engineer the business and IT processes which underpin the delivery of rural payments and inspections. This encompassed a new Rural & Payments Services ( RP&S) IT platform for the implementation and management of the Common Agricultural Policy ( CAP) from January 2015. Programme delivery has been significantly challenged to the extent that the core focus over the last two years has been delivery of the basic requirements to enable compliance with the CAP rather than the original wider business transformation. The new CAP introduced the most substantive change witnessed in the last 25 years with increased complexity in the regulations.
- The Futures Programme will end on 31 March 2017 and arrangements are in place to finish three projects - Scheme and Customer Account Management System ( SACAMS), Land Parcel Information System ( LPIS) and Claims to Payment ( C2P). These are all within the scope and financial envelope of Futures, but will not have finished by the date the programme is due to end. As part of transition activities and programme close down, arrangements are also in place for on-going maintenance and development of the core RP&S system.
- Total expenditure on completing the scope of the Futures Programme remains within the £178 million budgetary ceiling. The new system will process around £3.9 billion worth of payments (Direct Payments and SRDP) over the 6 years of the new CAP.
- As part of our efforts to support rural communities we are also putting in place new IT processes to ensure delivery of funding opportunities under the EU's LEADER programme, thereby enhancing local areas by providing easier access to potential resource for grass roots organisations. The IT programme is being delivered in phases with the external facing elements prioritised. Currently the application and claims phases have been released. The remaining phases are scheduled for release by Autumn 2017.
- We are directly supporting a variety of capital investment projects within food and drink businesses across Scotland via the Food Processing Marketing and Cooperation grant scheme, where over £70 million of investment is envisaged between 2014 and 2020.
- To drive the transition towards a low carbon, resilient circular economy, we set our priorities for action in our circular economy strategy Making Things Last published in February 2016, which focuses on key areas including energy infrastructure, construction and buildings, remanufacturing, food and drink and the bioeconomy. Support for a more circular economy, including the actions in Scotland's Manufacturing Action Plan, is provided through £70 million of funding, including £30 million of EU Structural Funds. The Circular Economy Investment Fund is now up and running and has a pipeline of projects in place to support innovation and the development of new business models in SMEs.
- The local authority capital settlement includes £42 million identified as being available for flood protection schemes. The First Minister announced a 10 year funding approach, agreed with COSLA, in July 2016.
Email: Stuart McKeown
Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House