Crofters supported by Scottish Government grant to build new homes

An abandoned crofter’s cottage at Airidh a’ Bhruaich on the shores of Loch Seaforth on the Isle of Lewis

GRANTS to improve or build new homes in some of Scotland’s most remote and marginal communities have been awarded to 13 crofters.

It comes as part of the Scottish Government’s croft house grants scheme which aims to retain and attract people to rural and remote areas, with the latest round of funding totalling £433.072.

Since the initiative was launched in 2007, over £22.5 million has been awarded to 1,060 families and individuals in rural and island communities.

In 2017, Florentine and Tim Matthew had a grant approved which helped them build their home. They said on the scheme, “The croft house grant has been invaluable to us – without this grant we wouldn’t have been able to live on our croft with our young family.

“Local housing is scarce and there were no available houses in our rural location. This grant has made the difference between us investing in building a life on a croft and being forced to move back to the city.”

Following a meeting with Mr and Mrs Matthew, the Scottish Government’s rural affairs secretary, Mairi Gougeon, said, “It’s clear to me just how important this grant is to crofters. Seeing what this money has helped the Matthew family do is inspiring. Since March 2020 we have awarded over £1.7 million in grant funding to help build and improve homes for 53 crofters and their families. I am determined to continue helping people in crofting areas.

“Crofters play an integral role contributing to the long-term sustainability of our rural and island communities. The future sustainability of these areas depends on our ability to attract and retain people, particularly young families, and the Croft House Grant has proved successful in doing just that.”