The Crofting Counties Agricultural Grants Scheme (CCAGS) provides assistance towards improving and sustaining the viability of croft businesses. In doing this it also helps achieve other benefits such as improved animal health and welfare.
The principle objective of CCAGS is to sustain the economic basis and way of life and so help retain population in crofting areas. Support is available to eligible applicants for land improvement, agricultural buildings, access and facilities for keeping livestock. In doing so CCAGS contributes to maintaining and preserving an agricultural base in severely disadvantaged areas and encourages investment in the economic potential of the land.
All potential applicants should note that important changes to CCAGS, including new rules on the application of penalties, came into force on 01 February 2013.
Transition year and drainage option for CCAGS scheme
Last month (20/09/2013) we advised that Rural Support Schemes were to continue while details of the next Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP) is decided. We highlighted that Crofting Counties Agricultural Grants (Scotland) Scheme (CCAGS) would be continued next year, but the drainage element (included in CCAGS option 4) may not be available as it depends on the final transition regulations agreed by the European Commission.
SRDP funding for capital projects is not permitted under current European CAP transition regulations and although the Scottish Government and other Governments across Europe are continuing to press hard for a full roll over of the Rural Development programme in 2014, it is still not clear whether we will be able to continue to fund CCAGS drainage projects next year.
Any potential applicant wishing to undertake this kind of drainage work (option 4) is therefore strongly encouraged to submit their application before 15/11/2013 to allow any appropriate approvals to be issued before the end of the current funding period (31/12/2013). As previously indicated we have taken steps to ensure that CCAGS remains open during the transition year through a domestic scheme because of its importance to supporting crofting communities. Unfortunately, however, the regulations on State Aid will prevent us extending the drainage element under such a domestic scheme.
If applicants have any queries regarding this, they should contact their local SG RPID area office
For further information please see the CCAGS Guidance Notes for Applicants Bookle