Grants to improve housing or build new homes in some of Scotland’s most remote and marginal communities have been awarded to thirteen crofters.
The Croft House Grants scheme aims to retain and attract people to rural and remote communities with the latest round of funding awarding grants worth over £430,000.
Since the scheme was launched in 2007, more than £22.5 million has been awarded to just over 1,000 families and individuals in rural and island communities.
Crofters are seen to play an integral role contributing to the long-term sustainability of Scotland's rural and island communities.
But the future sustainability of these areas depends on their ability to attract and retain people, particularly young families,.
Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said it was 'clear' how important the Croft House Grants scheme was to crofters in remote areas.
"Since March 2020 we have awarded over £1.7 million in grant funding to help build and improve homes for 53 crofters and their families.
"I am determined to continue helping people in crofting areas," Ms Gougeon said.
Crofting family Florentine and Tim Matthew had a grant approved in 2017 which helped them build their house.
They said the Croft House Grant had been 'invaluable': "Without this grant we wouldn't have been able to live on our croft with our young family," they said.
"Local housing is scarce and there were no available houses in our rural location. This grant has made the difference between us investing in building a life on a croft and being forced to move back to the city.”