Please see our Rural Priorities Guidance Updates.
All significant new updates and additions to the online guidance are also listed below.
For older news, please see the Rural Priorities News Archive.
Ongoing Approval process for Regional Priority 9 applications (to manage SSSIs or Natura sites):
- Land managers wishing to apply under RP9 were asked to register interest with Scottish Natural Heritage by 17 April 2013. For anyone who missed that date but is now interested, please contact Scottish Natural Heritage as soon as possible to discuss your plans and to discuss whether it is worthwhile spending time working up an application. It may be possible to handle some applications, from those who missed the 17 April deadline, if they will have significant benefit for SSSI/Natura features and if there is enough staff time available. When it comes to processing applications, first priority will be given to those who registered interest by 17 April.
- A reminder of the 17 July deadline for submitting applications (including all maps, plans, etc) under RP9. Please contact Scottish Natural Heritage if you would like further advice at any time when preparing your application.
The Rural Priorities guidance for Grazed Grassland for Chough has been amended. The page is available via our Guidance Updates menu.
Ongoing approval of agri-environment and forestry projects.
- Rural Priorities applications can be submitted during 2013 for agri-environment and forestry projects eligible for the ongoing approval process. If applications are approved, contracts must be accepted and confirmed by 31 December 2013.
- Land managers interested in the designated sites ongoing approval process should register their interest with SNH by April 17, 2013. Applications must be submitted by 17 July 2013 and committed by 31 August 2013, along with all supporting documentation.
- Extending expiring contracts, or part of contracts, addressing the management of designated sites (SSSI, SAC or SPA) or the management of iconic species * will be considered for high priority projects which meet value for money criteria. Further information on this will be provided in due course.
* iconic species include hen harrier, chough, corn bunting, corncrake, capercaillie, black grouse, red squirrel, farmland waders and seed-eating birds.
- Land managers interested in forestry grants should contact Forestry Commission Scotland.
Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment Richard Lochhead has announced that a further Rural Priorities funding round will take place in June 2013. The Regional Proposal Assessment Committees (RPACs) will consider applications for Axis 1 (restructuring, development and innovation) and Axis 3 (rural enterprise) projects. Proposals will only be considered from those applicants who meet the criteria to qualify for the Young Farmers' Interest Rate Relief option.
Access the timetable for the June 2013 assessment round.
Details of the options available under Axis 1 and 3.
Further information about the June 2013 funding round.
September Regional Proposal Assessment Committee (RPAC) - Case Studies
Examples of case studies from around Scotland.
Results of the September 2012 Regional Proposal Assessment Committee
Results of the September Regional Proposal Assessment Committee (RPAC).
There have been changes made to the approval of Rural Priorities forestry grants from 1st October 2012. This is necessary to avoid an overspend of the forestry grants budget in 2012, 2013 and 2014. The SRDP web pages are being updated accordingly and, on each forestry option page, there is a link to the Forestry Commission Scotland briefing for further information.
Results of the June 2012 Regional Proposal Assessment Committee
The results of the June 2012 RPAC are now available here. A regional breakdown of the 2012 Rural Priorities case studies is provided, along with archived case studies from 2009-2011.
Updates to guidance for July are:
Improvements have been made to the Rural Priorities Case Document Storage System. This will allow applicants/agents and staff to better manage the Case Documents list through the introduction of a Search and Sort facility for documents that have been uploaded into the system.
- On accessing the Case Document screen the ability to 'search' is hidden. To open the search facility select the 'Show Search' button on the Case Documents screen.
- The search facility works like an advanced find. The criteria that can be searched on is set by the system and is selected through a dropdown list. It is possible to refine the search by adding more than one search criteria.
- To sort the document list by ascending/descending order, click on the up/down arrow beside the column heading that you want the list to be sorted by.
- The online SOI guidance for Online Proposals and the Internal User guidance for Processing Cases in Front Office will be updated in due course.
Guidance changes for June are as follows:
19/20 May 2012
Our Elgin Area Office has now relocated within the town. The new address is:
AFRC - RPID
Alexander Fleming House
8 Southfield Drive
Tel: 0300 020 1288
Fax: 01463 723189
The new address reflects our recent Directorate name change to Agriculture, Food and Rural Communities (AFRC). We remain within this Directorate as the Rural Payments and Inspections Division (RPID).
18 May 2012
Forestry Commission Scotland has announced changes to Rural Priorities grant funding that aim to boost more planting of productive forests. The Farmland Premium associated with the Native Woodland planting option is limited to 50 ha per application. The Central Scotland Mixed Woodland Option will be limited, in certain locations, to a maximum area between 20 and 45 ha. FCS encourages productive forestry that will yield a future timber harvest capable of sustaining and expanding Scotland's forestry industry.
1 May 2012
May changes are as follows:
Please refer to the Guidance Updates table for a comprehensive list of amendments.
17 April 2012
Important changes have been made relating to the timing of 2012 applications for Regional Priorities (9) designated sites.
16 April 2012
Update on continuity between programmes
We aim to ensure continuity between the end of the current SRDP and the start of the new programme. There are a number of factors we are working to clarify as soon we can, to minimise any disruption to rural businesses and land managers.
- There is a funding round taking place in June 2012 (for Axes 1 and 3 applications) and September 2012 (for Axis 2 applications). We will also continue to use the Ongoing Approval process for forestry and Regional Priority 9 designated site applications which meet the required criteria.
- Awards for Axis 1 applications will be capped at £100,000. Full details are available in the key facts section.
- All existing Axis 3 options remain open, with no cap other than state aid restrictions where applicable.
There has been no decision taken yet on whether there will be any further funding rounds next year. Any decision on that will be made after this year's funding rounds at which point we will be able to assess what, if any, budget is left.
While there is still expenditure available to be committed on individual RP Options, for example forestry, we will continue to accept and process proposals throughout 2012 and 2013.
It will also be clearer later in the year whether there will be transitional arrangements between the current and next programme which would allow us to commit capital spend in 2014 and beyond.
1 April 2012
- Application forms have been updated to reflect the merger of the Rural Priorities (RP1) form with the Single Application Form (SAF). Question seven in the SAF now covers the annual recurrent options.
- Project Expenditure Eligible Costs have been amended to reflect changes to professional fees and staff costs.
- The Foresty Outcome Plan and Business Outcome Plan have been updated to reflect the cost of capital works in comparison to the total value of any annual recurrent payments.
- SRDP invoicing requirements in relation to Actual Cost claims have been amended. All claims in respect of Actual Costs must be supported by fully receipted original invoices.
1 March 2012
Updates have been made to a number of Rural Priorities guidance pages from today. Details are provided below. Further detail will become available in due course on the Guidance Updates page.
1 February 2012
February changes are as follows:
The Forestry Outcome Plan has been amended to read more clearly to a forestry-specific audience.
Grant Rates for Axis 3 Options have been updated to reflect the Information and Awareness details stated in the related Guidance updated on 16 June 2011.
The Guidance on Grazed Grassland for Chough has been amended with clarification on the maximum stocking density of 1 LA/ha.
The Management of Hedgerows Option has been updated to include the new vole guard capital item requirement.
The Extended Hedges Option has been amended to reflect the addition of the new vole guard capital item and the replacement of a broken hyperlink.
Woodland Creation - Central Scotland Mixed Woodland is now updated to introduce eligibility to allow up to 50% conifers in specific circumstances.
The Supporting Biodiversity Package is now available under Regional Priority 9 (which relates to management which will benefit the special features on Scotland's nationally important nature sites) in all RPAC regions.
The Vernacular Buildings Package has been amended with two updates. These cover 1: Clarification of eligible building types to exclude certain types of structure, and 2: Clarification of rules relating to the use of this option in conjunction with other Rural Priorities options.
30 December 2011
Changes to the Rural Priorities Assessment Process
Following the recent announcement about changes to the assessment (scoring) process, we have now updated the Proposal Assessment pages of the website with the new guidance, which applies to all cases submitted after 16 November 2011.
19 December 2011
A new Axis 3 Option has been implemented - Upland Habitat Management Plans will assist in maintaining and enhancing the condition of special features on upland sites designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Special Protection Areas or Special Areas for Conservation (SSSIs, SPAs or SACs).
16 December 2011
An upgrade of our case document storage system is to be carried out from Wednesday 4 until Friday 6 January 2012 inclusive. Although you will be able to work on your SoI/Proposal in Front Office you will not be able to upload or view documents during this time, nor will the system produce a record of the case details report that generates when a proposal is committed. You therefore should not commit Proposals while this upgrade is taking place.
We apologise for any inconvenience.
5 December 2011
Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment Richard Lochhead has formally announced the results of the September 2011 Rural Priorities funding round.
A News Release is available here.
Case Studies of successful projects are available here.
Individual case results can be accessed on the results page.
1 December 2011
Changes have been made to a number of Rural Priorities guidance pages from today. Details are provided below. Further detail is available on the Guidance Updates page.
16 November 2011
Axis 1 and 3 applications to be considered in June 2012
Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment Richard Lochhead has announced that a further Rural Priorities funding round will take place in June 2012. The Regional Proposal Assessment Committees (RPACs) will consider applications for Axis 1 (restructuring, development and innovation) and 3 (rural enterprise and rural communities) projects.
Important information about the June 2012 funding round and important changes is available here.
You can access the timetable for this assessment round here.
A News Release is available here.
Full details of the options available under Axis 1 and 3 are available here.