14 March 2008

Stevenson Welcomes £3.24M Funding For Aberdeenshire's Rural Communities

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed funding of £3.24 million allocated to rural communities in Aberdeenshire to grow local economies, improve rural facilities and conserve the environment.

£57.7 million is being made available to communities across rural Scotland, jointly by the Scottish Government and the European Union under the LEADER programme. This funding will be matched at a local level by public and private funds, potentially doubling the figure. This is the first share of money to be released under the £1.6 billion Scotland Rural Development Programme, designed to empower communities at the grass roots level.

Commenting, Mr. Stevenson said:

“I am delighted to see this massive investment in rural Aberdeenshire communities. This is a democratic funding programme which will see decisions on how best to drive community development being taken in local areas.

“This will empower community decision-making and ensure that only grassroots projects that will make a real difference to rural Aberdeenshire are selected.

“Representing the most rural constituency in mainland Scotland, I appreciate how important it is to preserve and support our rural communities in the North East. This funding is just the kind of boost these communities in Banff Buchan need.

“I would like to encourage rural communities in Banff & Buchan to seize this opportunity and make full use of this funding to develop their communities by growing local economies, improving facilities, conserving the environment and enhancing the quality of life in their local areas.”

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