31 May 2007

Stevenson Welcomes Announcement On Rural Development Programme

Stevenson Welcomes Announcement On Rural Development Programme

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed the announcement today by Cabinet Secretary for the Environment and Rural Affairs Richard Lochhead of investment of almost £1.6 billion for Scottish agriculture, forestry environment and community projects as part of the Rural Development Programme from 2007 to 2013.

Mr Stevenson, who made a submission to the consultation on the Rural Development Programme, commented:

                "Farming and the rural economy are one of the mainstays of the North-east so I am delighted that this has been recognised so early in the life of the new SNP Government.

                "One of my colleague Richard Lochhead's first acts as Cabinet Secretary was to hold a meeting with industry representatives and the interest groups and that will be a hallmark of this administration.

                "In addition, I am delighted that key stakeholders such as NFU Scotland have given a broad welcome to the package of measures announced today and I am particularly pleased to see a support programme for new entrants into the industry included in that.  That is something which I have argued for for a long time now and it is pleasing to see an SNP Government taking this forward for the future of the farming industry."

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