A consultation has been launched on the Scottish Government’s Croft House Grant Scheme (CHGS).
The scheme provides financial assistance for the improvement and maintenance of crofter housing with the aim of attracting and retaining people in remote areas of the Highlands and Islands.
For the next 12 weeks, the Scottish Government is formally seeking views on the future shape of the scheme and its payment rates.
Crofting Minister Dr Aileen McLeod said: “Crofting is vital to communities, the economy and the environment in Scotland’s remote and fragile areas, and generated an estimated revenue of almost £86 million last year.
“By law, crofters have to live on or close to their croft which can present challenges in terms of availability and quality of suitable housing.
“We know those are major factors in rural depopulation and so by offering financial assistance for constructing and upgrading residential properties, the Croft House Grant Scheme is helping to attract and retain people in our remote, rural and island communities.
“The CHGS launched 10 years ago and although building costs have gone up, the assistance rates we are able to contribute have not. While I am sympathetic to the case for increasing the size of grants on offer I need evidence to make a decision that will benefit our remote and rural communities.
“That is why it is so important for as many people as possible to respond to this consultation.”