Economic report on crofting presents positive results

Crofting generated an estimated revenue of almost £86 million last year, according to a new Scottish Government report.

The number of crofts has also increased over the past four years, with over 150 new crofts created between 2010 and 2014.

The figures are from the Economic Condition of Crofting 2011-2014 which has been laid before the Scottish Parliament.

Scotland’s Crofting Minister Aileen McLeod said: “This report provides the first ever estimate of the revenue generated by crofting, and underlines just how important crofting is to communities and the economy in Scotland’s remote and fragile areas.

“The picture overall is positive, with the number of active crofts rising, and crofting making a significant contribution to the Scottish economy. I want these positive trends to continue.

“With crofters more reliant on Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) payments than other producers it is clearly crucial that we get the balance of support right. Under the Scottish Government’s CAP implementation plans, we estimate that direct funding for crofters will increase from around £20 million in 2013 to £33 million in 2019.

“It is encouraging to see signs that the Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 is beginning to make a positive difference and, although it is too early to conclude with any certainty its full impact, I look forward to seeing in future years further improvements on issues such as occupancy and the use of, and speculation on, croft land.

“Of course, the big challenge for crofting that is highlighted in this report is the need to attract more new entrants and young people. It is vital that everyone with an interest in crofting works together to achieve this, to safeguard the future of crofting and ensure it thrives in the years to come.”