A programme of economic, environmental and social measures designed to develop rural Scotland from 2007 to 2013.
Measures will be delivered through:
- Crofting Counties Agricultural Grant Scheme
- Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation Grant Scheme
- Forestry Commission Challenge Funds
- The LEADER initiative
- Less Favoured Area Support Scheme
- Rural Development Contracts
- Skills Development Scheme
Individuals and groups may seek support to help deliver the Government's strategic objectives in rural Scotland.
The Scotland Rural Development Programme 2007-13 is very different from its predecessor. It includes measures to address economic and social goals as well as environmental measures. It is outcome-focused and primarily aims to deliver a Greener Scotland and to promote a Wealthier and Fairer rural Scotland. It will contribute to the Government's Healthier and Smarter objectives and will help to strengthen rural communities.
It brings together a wide range of formerly separate support schemes including those covering the farming, forestry and primary processing sectors, rural enterprise and business development, diversification and rural tourism. It includes measures to support and encourage rural communities and delivers the LEADER initiative for local innovation in rural areas.
- Strong emphasis on delivering outcomes which benefit the Scottish people, and to help make Scotland 'greener', 'wealthier and fairer', 'healthier' and 'smarter'.
- Funding will be targeted to where they will provide the greatest public benefits through adopting local solutions, with each region setting its own priorities, to deliver national outcomes.
- The SRDP will be delivered through eight mechanisms, with the majority of the budget distributed through non-competitive elements. The new competitive element is Rural Development Contracts (RDC) - Rural Priorities.
- Wider range of potential applicants under RDC - Rural Priorities, though most are likely to be dependant on land, proposals can come form other sectors of the rural economy, or from community groups.
- Reduced bureaucracy with applications for RDC - Rural Priorities handled through a one 'stop shop approach' e.g. Rural Priorities brings 6 previous schemes into a single application process, a one pass assessment (which covers necessary consents - except planning) and an integrated inspection regime.
- The majority of SRDP funding comes from the Scottish Government.
- All applicants to Rural Priorities will have access to an individual case officer.
- Contracts under Rural Priorities will be awarded on the basis of a transparent selection process based on 'contribution to regional priority', 'value for money' and 'management of risk'.
- Rural Priorities offer applicants greater flexibility to support specific aspects of businesses and set the timetable for undertaking activity.
- Rural Development Contracts (Land Managers' Options and Rural Priorities) offer the opportunity for land managers to demonstrate the benefits they contribute in return for public support.