Welcome for steps to support rural communities

​Midlothian South MSP Christine Grahame.​Midlothian South MSP Christine Grahame.
​Midlothian South MSP Christine Grahame.
MSP for Midlothian South Christine Grahame has welcomed the Scottish Government’s continuing commitment to rural communities.

Her remarks follow the recent announcement of the First Minister’s Programme for Government, which includes a raft of measures to support people and businesses in Scotland's rural communities.

She said: “Building on his guiding principles of equality, opportunity and community, Humza Yousaf has outlined meaningful action to tackle the challenges facing rural areas including those in Midlothian South, particularly in relation to housing and access to health care. The substantial investment of £25 million in affordable housing, accompanied by vital work to improve access to GP services, will transform the lives of people in my constituency and many across remote areas.”

The measures include:-

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£550 million funding for Scottish farmers and crofters, with payments beginning in September to tackle climate change, cut emissions, and restore nature

Up to £14 million of grant funding through the Marine Fund Scotland for projects to deliver improved social, environmental, and economic outcomes in line with the Blue Economy Vision

10% of affordable housing delivered will be in rural and island communities

Continued investment in woodland creation and peatland restoration, supporting rural businesses, skills and jobs

Commitment to aquaculture pilots

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introducing the Land Reform Bill, empowering communities by providing more opportunities to own land and have more say in how land in their area is used

an action plan for housing in rural and island areas by the end of 2023

an Agriculture Bill, creating a new framework for support for rural economies

launching the National Centre for Remote and Rural Healthcare to improve access to GP services

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Ms Graheme added: “Along with legislating to improve support for rural economies, these commitments are hugely significant. The SNP’s commitment to empowering and supporting rural communities is unwavering.

“I am pleased to see the First Minister reaffirm his government to delivering for rural communities like this one.”