Meet the team
The Scottish Rural Network is supported by a team in the Scottish Government called the Network Support Unit. Find out more about the members of the team and their roles below.
Finance and Business Manager
0131 244 2230
I am the finance and business manager for the Scottish Rural Network – making sure that we have the necessary funds in place, sometimes to help others hold an event or to help pay for key individuals to attend an event.
I was brought up in a small village in Fife but counted myself lucky as there were two towns close by with a good bus service so always felt that I had the best of both worlds. I now live in one of the towns.
My family background was fishing and mining and my most famous relative was Andrew Selkirk the real Robinson Crusoe.
I was taught to knit which I have started doing again when I have a little spare time as I have some great nephews and a great niece. I love animals and enjoy walking my dogs and helping my daughter with her passion for horses - I get the mucking out to do!
Head of Network Support Unit and Rural Communities Team
0300 244 9281
Twitter - @alistairprior
I was raised in the Angus Glens and volunteered/worked/studied in the rural/environmental/conservation arena until joining the Scottish Government in 2002. In Government I have worked in a number of roles that link very well with rural development, these have included the environmental side of aquaculture policy, public participation in planning as well as leading on food & drink industry liaison.
Since 2011 I have been responsible for the LEADER programme, the Scottish Rural Network and wider rural communities policy. I am delighted that we have been able to enhance support for your rural network and hope that you can work with us to make it a success!
Tel: 0131 244 9838
I have been involved with the Network and rural development since 2012, although I was also responsible for delivering some of the old rural development grant schemes, from 2005 to 2008. Sandwiched in the middle, I worked for three years on climate change policy.
More recently, I really enjoyed the time I spent helping to establish Scotland’s first Rural Parliament, which Lorraine (see below) was also involved with. I am delighted to be given the opportunity to manage the new Network Support Unit and I am very excited about the potential benefit the enhanced Network can provide to support and encourage greater rural development across Scotland.
Most of my spare time is spent running after, or from, my two beautiful young daughters, but I try to get out cycling and running as much as I can. I live in Musselburgh, a stone’s throw from the beach.
Policy and Governance Coordinator
Tel: 01324 696 458
I have worked in rural policy for the past two years, helping create Scotland’s first ever Rural Parliament. Previously I worked developing local food and allotment policy and was a rural community councillor for several years.
I am passionate about helping Scotland’s rural communities grow and thrive and I think that the Rural Network is a really exciting opportunity to do just that. I’ll be coordinating the work programme of the Network, making sure that what we do is of real benefit to rural Scotland.
In my spare time you can find me pottering around my Falkirk allotment or exploring Scotland’s beautiful countryside with my three boys in our teensy tiny camper-van.
Tel: 0300 24 41402
I joined the Network Support Unit in June 2015 after working for nearly four years in energy policy supporting businesses to cut costs by being more energy and resource efficient. Through this work I experienced first-hand the economic issues and other challenges affecting rural areas.
I will be coordinating and delivering the events programme for the Network, ensuring that all our events are informative, engaging and effective in delivering real benefits for rural Scotland.
In my spare time you can find me out and about in Glasgow on my bike, although as a keen globetrotter I try to spend lots of time in slightly more exotic locations!
Tel: 0131 244 0147
Prior to taking up this role I worked with Rural Payments and Inspections Division (RPID) for 14 years, which was split between the Benbecula (Western Isles) and Inverness area offices. During this time, I had an opportunity to see first-hand the positive impact community-based development can have within the rural sector, particularly through the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP).
My main focus within the Network Support Unit is on encouraging and supporting the development of joint projects between different applicants and/or areas, with a particular focus on cooperation projects between LEADER Local Action Groups (LAGS). My aim is to support the Network where I can and make a valuable contribution to future rural development.
In my spare time I love to play football, squash and badminton.
Website and social media officer
Tel: 0131 2440 145
I work on the Scottish Rural Network website and social media - writing and adding content, encouraging contributions from people across rural Scotland and helping to share news, views and information. Please get in touch if you have information you would like us to share across the Network.
Before joining the Scottish Government in May 2015, I spent ten years in the Rural Team at SCVO where I worked on the previous Rural Network website and its predecessor the Rural Community Gateway!
I live in a small village in Easter Ross where I spend most of my spare time in the kitchen trying out new recipes!
Tel: 0131 244 3239
I will be leading on the SRN’s Communications Plan going forward, looking to engage and link in with rural stakeholders across Scotland. I will be looking for new ways to publicise the exciting projects that are taking place in rural development, and looking to reach existing and fresh audiences in at events, online, in print publications and other channels.
I am a comedy writer with previous projects commissioned by the BBC and the Daily Mirror, and a songwriter with previous songs ignored by the general population. I enjoy live music, live comedy and exploring Scotland.