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Rural Priorities project opens
A Rural Priorities-funded project which combines a range of farm business, environmental and educational benefits was opened by Rural Secretary Richard Lochhead today.
The brainchild of farmer Allan Stevenson, the Luffness Mains project includes new energy efficient farm buildings for grading, processing and cold storing potatoes and storing and drying grain.
The buildings are 60 per cent self-sufficient, using renewable energy from two on-farm wind turbines, and include a public room where visitors can learn about Linking Environment and Farming (LEAF).
Other developments on the farm include a mile of new hedgerows and the creation of species-rich grassland to improve local biodiversity, and water margins to prevent diffuse pollution.
Mr Lochhead said:
"I'm delighted to be able to support this innovative development at Luffness Mains with Rural Priorities funding. The project shows just what can be achieved by taking a positive approach to the opportunities and challenges facing agriculture.
"Mr Stevenson's new project supports the key government priorities of business diversification, renewable energy, improving farmers' skills and enriching Scotland's biodiversity - essential to sustaining our rural communities and environment.
"Since its launch in 2008, Rural Priorities has approved grants worth a total of 378 million pounds for some 4,850 projects across Scotland. The scheme continues to bring tangible economic and environmental benefits to rural communities across the country."