SLE's comment on Programme for Government announcement

Press Release

Commenting on today’s Programme for Government, Sarah-Jane Laing, Chief Executive of Scottish Land & Estates said:

“Scotland’s land-based businesses already play a vital role in combating climate change, so we fully support the Scottish Government’s focus on tackling the twin emergencies of climate change and biodiversity. We welcome much needed increased investment for rural communities and businesses as Scotland recovers from the Covid pandemic, and look forward to working with the Scottish Government to ensure that this translates to jobs, homes and other essential elements of a vibrant rural Scotland.

“We have urged the Scottish Government speed up the transition to net zero and hope that the creation of a Green Jobs Fund, Rural Entrepreneur Fund and significant investment in the natural economy will help accelerate this progress while providing essential jobs and support for rural Scotland.

“We welcome the development of a Remote, Rural & Islands housing action plan to attract more people to join a rural community as well as the commitment encourage entrepreneurs to develop their businesses in rural areas.

We are also pleased to see confirmation of steps forward in agricultural policy, which is badly needed to allow businesses to plan for the future. This alongside clarity of future forestry funding will help to enable an integrated approach to land management and the development of natural capital, which SLE has long been calling for.

“However, we continue to view the prospect of disproportionate land reform measures – despite two land reform acts since devolution as counter to the Scottish Government’s aims on economy, climate and biodiversity. It’s clear that large landowners are playing an integral part in delivering these aims – and further land reform measures will put this at risk.

 “We hope the Scottish Government will take forward its programme with an evidence-based approach and we will work constructively with them on all issues which affect our members and rural Scotland.”

Read the published Programme for Government