Scottish Government to consider croft house loans

Aileen McLeod
Aileen McLeod

The Scottish Government has said it is prepared to look into potentially reintroducing loans for building croft houses.

Crofting minister Aileen McLeod told industry figures on a visit to Inverness that the government is to hold further consultation on expanding the existing Croft House Grant Scheme.

The move has been tentatively welcomed by representative groups and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

Cllr Donald Crichton, vice chairman of the comhairle’s sustainable development committee, said: “Over the last year we have made a strong case to the minister and civil servants for increasing and strengthening the grant as one of the best mechanisms for sustaining our crofting communities.

“This further consultation demonstrates that the minster has been listening and taking on board our views and we are encouraged by the proposals that are emerging.”

Fiona Mandeville, chair of the Scottish Crofting Federation, said the loan element was “key to the success of this scheme”.

She added: ”This scheme really needs to be aimed at young crofters who maybe find it hard to get a mortgage, or to get a start on the housing ladder.

“I think it is important to look at the croft house grant scheme as another element of social housing.”

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