Sheep and beef funding schemes open

Sheep in field
Norette Ferns

Two new schemes to support beef and upland sheep are now open for applications.

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Richard Lochhead has encouraged farmers to apply for their share of £38.8 million from the Scottish Suckler Beef Support Scheme and the Scottish Upland Sheep Support Scheme.

Mr Lochhead said:

"Succulent Scotch Beef and Lamb are prime products that are in demand all over the world. Scotch Beef was voted the nation’s favourite food and drink product last year. Following a challenging summer for farmers, these two new schemes will provide a welcome support for a vital part of the farming industry.

"This is the first time we have offered a specific support scheme to the islands to recognise the fact they have more adverse farming conditions due to poorer quality land and smaller markets which means they are more dependent on distant markets. Farming and crofting communities are vitally important and I hope the Upland Sheep Support scheme will help maintain employment, particularly during harsher times.

"I would urge farmers to make sure applications for these new schemes, which are worth around £38.8 million in total, are submitted in plenty of time ahead of the relative deadlines and make the most of the money available to them."

The Scottish Suckler Beef Support Scheme replaces the old Scottish Beef Scheme and will reward farmers for calves born on or after December 2 2014.

The Scottish Upland Sheep Support Scheme is new and will provide support to help maintain flocks in some of the most challenging agricultural land in Scotland. The scheme is one of the Scottish Government’s decisions as part of the new Common Agricultural Policy arrangement from 2015. It is part of a package of measures designed to reward activity and eliminate as far as possible the so-called “slipper farmers”.

Deadlines for claim submission are:

  • Scottish Upland Sheep Support Scheme – midnight on 16 October 2015
  • Scottish Suckler Beef Support Scheme – midnight on 31 December 2015

Payment under both schemes are due in 2016.

Applications can be made online at

If you need support from your local area office in using the new services, you can book an appointment online.

Paper applications will also be accepted for these schemes. They should be submitted through local area offices. Applications for the Sheep Upland Support Scheme must be submitted through the Inverness area office only, with forms being sent to: RPID, Longman House, 28 Longman Road, Inverness, IV1 1SF.

Visit the Rural Payments and Services website for more information.