Nearly �1.65 million for new facilities to move freight by rail, which will cut 655,000 lorry miles from Scotland's roads each year, has been announced today.

The funding from the Executive's Freight Facilities Grant (FFG) scheme will allow the complete re-development of a rail freight facility at Elderslie, near Paisley by WH Malcolm. This will include the provision of container handling equipment and a large new storage area which will allow the company to operate a daily short haul rail service between Grangemouth docks and Elderslie. Transport Minister Tavish Scott said: "The Scottish Executive is committed to getting freight off our roads. We want to continue to help businesses deliver goods and remain competitive, whilst at the same time contributing to improving our environment.

"This substantial funding for WH Malcolm in a ground breaking project for short haul rail will remove 655,000 lorry miles from Scotland's roads each year and will highlight to others in the freight industry the benefits of transferring freight from our already congested roads."

Under the Executive Freight Facilities Grant (FFG) Scheme, grants are available to fund the capital costs of equipment for rail, inland waterway and sea freight transport where the traffic would otherwise move by road. Since July 1997, 28 Freight Facilities Grant awards have been made to projects in scotland, representing grant awards of over £68m.