Next Generation Group Writes to Cabinet Secretary on Sudden Scheme Closure

Calls for scheme extension to aid those mid-application

NFU Scotland’s Next Generation Group has written to Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy Fergus Ewing expressing its extreme disappointment at the recent news that the New Entrant Capital Grant Scheme will close this week.

According to the group, the short notice attached to the 31 August deadline for applications has caused real angst and anxiety as new entrants try to meet the deadline.  It has called for urgent clarification that those eligible claimants who are already in the process of submitting an application, but are awaiting necessary paperwork such as planning permissions and building warrants, will still be accepted, with the accompanying paperwork supplied when complete.

The Group had previously written to the Cabinet Secretary in mid-August, welcoming that future new entrant schemes were recognised in the recent ‘Stability and Simplicity’ Consultation.  However, the group advocates that any further new entrant and young farmer schemes must go beyond a five-year period to allow for the long-term progression of businesses.

According to the Group, the sudden closure of the New Entrant Capital Grant Scheme only adds to the uncertainty within Scottish agriculture and to secure the future of Scottish farming and crofting, there must be investments made to support and equip this generation.

In a busy time for the Next Generation Group, a Roadshow ‘How do you succeed and how is it measured?’ will take place today (Tuesday 28 August) in Castle Douglas.

Representatives of the Next Generation group will also be participating in the ‘New Entrants to Farming: Planning for the Future’ meeting in Kirkwall on Thursday 30 August.  

Chairman of NFU Scotland’s Next Generation Group, Mark Donald, a starter farmer from Stirlingshire said: “In the Year of Young People, the closure of this scheme is a real blow to young people trying to establish their business in what has already been a challenging year for Scottish farmers and crofters. There is now very limited targeted support available for new entrants and young farmers.

“The scheme was supposed to be both open and funded until 2020 and the unexpected closure has left a number of new entrant members of NFU Scotland having to restructure their business plans to accommodate for the late warning.

“Many potential recipients of the scheme have already incurred significant costs in the process of putting together their applications and are now very concerned that the tight timeframe in which to complete applications will not be achievable. We hope the Cabinet Secretary accepts our reasonable demand that eligible claimants who are already in the process of applying, and awaiting necessary paperwork such as planning permission, building warrants etc, will be accepted with the necessary paperwork provided when ready.

“Looking ahead, the lack of support specifically for new entrants and young farmers currently brings great uncertainty to the sector. With no proposed future schemes, I am concerned that many fledgling farming businesses who will play a vital role in the future success of Scottish agriculture will slip through the cracks.”  

Notes to Editors

  • A Next Generation Roadshow ‘How do you succeed and how is it measured?’ will take place on Tuesday 28 August 2018 from 7.30pm at Barstobrick Visitor Centre, Castle Douglas, DG7 2AT.  Speakers include Andrew Marchant, first generation farmer; Ellen Austin, diversification business; Colin Ferguson, NFU Scotland Dumfries and Galloway Next Generation Committee representative and succession farmer and President Andrew McCornick. More details from Teresa Dougall on 07718 425 053 or email:
  • The New Entrants to Farming: Planning for the Future meeting held in collaboration with Farm Advisory Service, NFUS and the Scottish Land Commission, will be at the Ayre Hotel, Kirkwall on Thursday 30 August starting at 10.30am.  Speakers include Mark Donald, chair of NFU Scotland’s Next Generation Group.  More information from SAC Consulting on 01856 872698.


Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Author: Bob Carruth

Date Published:

News Article No.: 120/18

< Article List


Report Abusive Comment

Comment Content:

Why it offends me (optional):

Have Your Say

No-one has commented on this article yet. Be the first to have your say...

New Comment


Total Pages:
Total Results:
Page Start:
Page Result #:

©NFU Scotland • All Rights Reserved • Web design by Big Red DigitalLog in


Contact Us




No Robots:

This form collects and sends the information supplied to NFU Scotland. You can read our privacy policy for full details on how we protect and manage your data.
  I consent to having NFU Scotland collect the above details.