SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan, has welcomed the First Minister’s Programme for Government as an important demonstration of the SNP’s commitment to Scotland’s rural communities.

The Programme for Government includes a raft of measures to support people and businesses in Scotland's rural communities, including:

  • 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
  • New affordable housing funding in rural and island communities
  • Continued investment in woodland creation and peatland restoration, supporting rural businesses, skills and jobs
  • Commitment to aquaculture pilots
  • The introduction of 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
  • The introduction of the Scottish Languages Bill, to help support and strengthen the Gaelic language (and Scots), particularly in heartland communities
  • 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
  • The launch of the National Centre for Remote and Rural Healthcare to improve access to GP services

These commitments are underpinned by a letter from First Minister Humza Yousaf to the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Land Reform and Islands, which agrees the objectives to be achieved in the year 2023/24.

Commenting, Alasdair Allan said:

“The First Minister’s Programme for Government demonstrates the Scottish Government’s commitment to supporting everyone living and working in rural and island communities, outlining meaningful action to tackle the challenges facing rural areas including the Western Isles.

“The substantial investment of £25 million in affordable housing, accompanied by vital work to improve access to GP services, will improve the lives of people in my constituency and many across remote areas of Scotland, along with the upcoming legislation to improve support for rural economies and communities.”

The First Minister’s Programme for Government can be found here.

Letter to Cabinet Secretary Mairi Gougeon - 


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