Opinion Former Article

BASC welcomes quarter of a billion pound boost for Wales’ rural communities

BASC has welcomed the news that Wales’ rural communities are to receive a £223 million cash boost.

Lesley Griffiths AM, the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, confirmed she is fully committing the remaining tranche of funding under the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020 (RDP).

The Welsh Government said the funding, a combination of Welsh Government and EU money, is an investment in key areas that will help rural communities to be more resilient during the post-EU transition period. It says it will provide Wales’ farmers, food producers, landowners and others with a certain degree of assurance that they can start to make future plans and shape their business operations accordingly.

The announcement means a wide range of schemes can now open including Farm Business Grant, Glastir Advanced, Food Business Investment Scheme, Co-operation and Supply Chain Development, Glastir Woodland Creation and Rural Community Development Fund.

The independent Value of Shooting report revealed that shooting is worth £75 million a year to the economy in Wales. Shooting supports the equivalent of 2,400 full-time jobs in Wales; influences the management of around 380,000 hectares of land and at least 76,000 people in the country shoot live quarry, clay pigeons or targets. In addition, the amount of conservation work provided by people who shoot in Wales amounts to the equivalent of 490 full-time conservation jobs.

Paul Williamson, BASC’s rural land development manager, said: “Shooting makes a huge contribution to the economy of Wales. This money will be used by farmers, land managers and people who shoot to help them manage and create new habitats and better supply chains for Welsh produce. In many areas shooting provides a boost to winter tourism, helping to keep rural hotels, pubs and restaurants viable at a time when few other people visit the countryside.”

Full details of upcoming scheme windows under the Rural Development Plan will be available on GOV.WALES in due course.

ENDS

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