This item was published during the term of a previous administration that ended in April 2007
Cash for communities affected by quarrying
Scottish communities affected by quarrying will benefit from new funding, it was announced today. £3 million will be available over the next two years through the Scottish Executive's Sustainable Action Fund.
Environment Minister Ross Finnie said:
"The decision to use money from the Aggregates Levy to fund environmental renewal further highlights the Executive's commitment to sustainable development in Scotland's communities.
"We recognise the impact that quarrying has had and continues to have on local communities throughout Scotland. We are committed to delivering environmental justice, ensuring that people do not live in degraded surroundings.
"We are keen to involve local communities in this process and give them the chance to take greater control of their own environment."
Most of the levy (90%) is returned to the economy via reductions in employers' National Insurance contributions.
The Scottish share of the remaining 10% is £3 million in both 2002-03 and 2003-04. Scottish Ministers decided that the Scottish share of the aggregates levy would be allocated to the environment budget.
The remainder of the funding will be used for a broad range of projects supporting sustainable development, which will be announced in due course.
Distribution of the grant will be overseen by a Grants Panel, and the Executive is inviting relevant bodies to nominate representatives.
Further information on the Community Environmental Renewal Grants is available at: www.sustainable.scotland.gov.uk
Community Environmental Renewal grants from the proceeds of the Aggregates Levy will be available to help tackle the environmental effects of aggregates extraction.
The UK government introduced the levy in April in order to reduce aggregates use, encourage the use of alternative materials and address environmental costs associated with quarrying.
Bids will be considered from local communities, or bodies working with them, for projects which address the environmental effects of past or present quarrying, bringing economic or social benefits to the affected areas.