The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has welcomed the announcement by the Scottish Government of an additional £4.5m of Freight Facilities Grant. This comes on top of the earlier announcement of £0.75 for 2012-2013 and £2.0m for 2013-2014. £4.5m will also be available now for 2014-2015. The grant is open to applications for funding of rail and water facilities in Scotland meeting specific criteria.
Commenting, Chris MacRae, FTA’s Head of Policy – Scotland, said:
"This additional announcement of funding is good news. This is especially so at a time of recession and it should be remembered that in England the equivalent grant has been completely ended. This grant is essential to helping achieve the Scottish Government’s challenging carbon reduction targets: switching freight movement to rail or water is an essential element of this and these grants help this, in addition to the separate revenue support grant regime.
However, MacRae sounded an important note of caution, "Over the last few years the revenue support grant has seen a declining profile and the Freight Facilities Grant has been subjected to cuts, withdrawal and then re-instatement. This form of stop/go announcement of funding does not give certainty to business when making long term investment decisions in which this form of funding can be essential. While we really do welcome this additional funding announcement, it is important that business has certainty about funding levels going forwards so that it can properly plan."