§ 21. Mr. Home Robertson
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the financial support given by his Department for rural areas.
§ Mr. Lang
The Scottish Office administers a wide range of assistance to rural areas. This includes direct support for basic rural industries such as agriculture, fisheries, forestry and tourism, amounting to almost £400 million in the current year; recognition of rural needs in the rate support grant distibution and the planning of public expenditure programmes; assistance for social and community development projects through the local capital grants scheme; and the continuing work of the Scottish Development Agency and the Highlands and Islands Development Board, which between them will invest over £50 million in the rural economy this year.