Monday, 2 June 2014

Rural Scotland in Focus 2014 Report

The third Rural Scotland in Focus 2014 (RSiF 2014) Report has been published today by SRUC.  Previous reports were published in 2010 and 2012.  The report of the summary can be downloaded from the SRUC website.

The Report continues to monitor how rural Scotland is changing, focusing on: population trends, the lives of young people, the levels and experiences of poverty and disadvantage and how use of our finite rural land resource is negotiated through planning and other means.

Key Policy Messages from the 2014 Report
  • At a time of economic constraint there is an increased need for rural perspectives to be brought to national issues. 
  • This is a particularly timely moment to ensure that this happens since this year we are seeing the further development of the Scottish Planning Policy (SPP), National Planning Framework (NPF3), Land Use Strategy and its regional pilots, Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill, National Marine Plan, Land Reform Review, Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform (including changes to ‘Pillar 1’ and ‘Pillar 2’, the Scotland Rural Development Programme encompassing LEADER) and the first meeting of the Scottish Rural Parliament. 
  • It is vitally important that the needs of people and communities are taken into account and integrated effectively with the need to manage natural resources sustainably. The national policy context provides a very important driver for putting people at the centre, given its growing emphasis on community empowerment, capacity building and community ownership of land and other assets. 
  • In our RSiF Reports we are not arguing that rural should be privileged over urban. Rather, that the evidence shows that the design and deployment of policies and practices must be ‘tailored’ to the local specifics of rural Scotland. 
  • The evidence leads us to conclude that there should be an over-arching, comprehensive vision and strategy for rural Scotland, aligned with and supporting the delivery of the National Outcomes. Such a strategy will allow for rural needs to be recognised and addressed, and support the development of further resilience and vibrancy across rural Scotland. 

For more information on the work of SRUC’s Rural Policy Centre, contact: Dr Jane Atterton, Manager and Policy Researcher, Rural Policy Centre, SRUC, T: 0131 535 4256;

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