Farms benefit from £2.7m Rural Priorities pay-outs

BORDERS farms and rural businesses are getting £2.7million from the latest round of Rural Priorities funding.

Nineteen projects are getting the go-ahead, according to the Scottish Government, safeguarding or creating more than 60 jobs in the region.

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment Richard Lochhead said: “A diverse range of valuable community, business and environmental projects will benefit. The investment of £2.7 million of Scottish and EU funding in the rural Scottish Borders will create or safeguard 62 jobs in local agricultural businesses and community groups, and help to spark sustainable economic growth in the area for future generations. It will enhance biodiversity, increase renewable energy and reduce the effects of climate change.”

A farm partnership near Greenlaw will receives £132,600 to install a wood-chip-burning boiler to provide central heating and domestic hot water to 11 properties on the Charterhall Estate.

“The 250KW boiler will be supplied with wood from the estate’s sustainably managed woodlands,” said a Government spokesperson.

“The renewable wood energy will replace fossil fuels such as oil and coal, and boost the local market for wood fuel supporting jobs in timber harvesting, wood processing and energy supply.”

The family-run Hardens Farm at Duns is getting £58,300 to build two straw bedded courts for 70 suckler cows, in-calf heifers and store cattle, expanding the suckler herd to 120 cows.

“The applicant, a young farmer, will use the funding to expand and modernise the existing business and safeguard two permanent agricultural jobs, benefiting from young farmers’ interest rate relief.“