Scots renewables and food and drink get £20m in extra funds

The Scottish government has earmarked £20m of funding for two new schemes covering small-scale renewable energy projects and local food and drink ventures.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the £10m food and drink package as part of her government’s Ambition 2030 strategy which aims to double the sector’s value to £30bn.

The £10m food and drink funding will help target key markets, boost innovation, focus on skills and help local producers, Ms Sturgeon said.

See also: Ambitious renewable energy target for Scotland

Of the three key areas in the strategy (see ‘Ambition 2030 – three key areas’, below) Scottish government agency, Scotland Food and Drink, identified collaboration as the most important.

Ambition 2030 – three key areas

  1. People and skills raising attractiveness of the industry as a career destination and investing in the existing workforce
  2. Supply chain ensuring farmers, fishermen, manufacturers and buyers work in closer partnership, to ensure greater profitability is shared across the industry
  3. Innovation embracing a new culture of developing products and processes to drive growth

Scotland Food and Drink’s chief executive James Withers said that the plan was to deepen joint-working between the industry, government and its agencies in the coming years, as well as to make support easier to access for businesses.

“Working collaboratively, there is every reason we can make Scotland the best place in the world to run a food and drink business,” Mr Withers said.

Meanwhile, a £10m fund has been opened to assist innovative local energy projects in rural parts of Scotland.

The Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme (LCITP) is open to farmers and landowners who can apply for up to £100,000 for individual projects that would increase energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and boost local economies.

Schemes such as water source heat pump projects and other energy production ventures would be favoured, particularly in remote areas without gas supplies, according to the Scottish government.

Applications are welcome from private, public and community-led projects, as well as partnerships and consortia involving multiple groups, a Scottish government official said.

What is the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme (LCITP)?

  • Partnership between Scottish government, enterprise agencies and sector specialists
  • Supported by the 2014 – 2020 European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programme
  • Total of £76m to invest in low carbon low-carbon infrastructure projects including £33m from ERDF.

For LCITP eligibility criteria and details on how to apply are available on the Scottish government’s website. 

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