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Written Statement - Young Entrant Support Scheme Year 2011-12 : Approval to award grant payments from the YESS Budget

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Alun Davies, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and European Programmes.

I wish to inform Assembly Members that I have agreed to release the budget for the second year of the Young Entrants Support scheme (YESS) and that the budget for this year’s scheme will remain at £1.75 million.

Interest in the second year of the scheme was very strong, and the quality of the proposed projects was again of a very high standard.  Offer letters will now be issued and following confirmation of agreements, full details regarding the number of successful applicants will be announced.

The continued support for this scheme shows this Government’s determination to support youth entrepreneurship and inter-generational change, in this important economic sector for Wales.

I also wish to inform Members that this Government has established an annual Brynle Williams Memorial Award to recognise our former colleague’s contribution to Welsh agriculture, both as Assembly Member and a farmer.  The winner of the award will be selected from the successful applicants to the first year of the YESS scheme and will be announced at this year’s Royal Welsh Agricultural Show.  I think it most apt that this award will go to a young farmer as it reflects Brynle’s unwavering support for the Welsh agricultural industry and his belief in our young people to deliver a successful future for the farming sector in this country.