The Kinloch Community Hub on the Isle of Lewis was formally opened by HRH the Princess Royal recently. 

The former school turned community hub in Balallan is managed by the Kinloch Historical Society and includes a cafe, laundrette, charity shop and meeting space as well as housing the Historical Societies Museum and Archive. 

A recent event focused on the contributions of younger islanders in renewing island life and contributing to sustainable island communities.

Fifty people from Scottish and Irish islands gathered in Grimsay, North Uist from 30 September to 4 October as part of the "Smart Islands in Scotland and Ireland: Supporting Enterprises and Young People" project, funded by LEADER in the Outer Hebrides and Ireland. The week week was hosted by local organisation CoDel (Community Development Lens) and the Scottish Islands Federation.

The first ever National Islands Plan for Scotland has been laid before the Scottish Parliament for consideration.

The proposed National Islands Plan provides a framework for action in order to meaningfully improve outcomes for Scotland's island communities.

A new Rural Economy Action Group has been established to support the delivery of rural economic policy and the implementation of the National Council of Rural Advisers' recommendations.

Norette Ferns from the Scottish Rural Network Support Unit, blogs on some of the team's activities during September.

The last time I went foraging was circa 1988 picking brambles along the canalside in Inverness (if my memory serves me) to take back to my granny for jam making. (It was the best jam.)  I don't know my sorrel from my wild garlic, so it was fantastic to get along to the first-ever Scottish Wild Food Festival last month.

Businesses and projects across rural Scotland have been recognised at this year's Helping it Happen Awards, including a squirrel conservation project and a food hub.

The third Helping it Happen Award gala was held recently at the Sheraton Hotel in Edinburgh, hosted by Scottish Land & Estates which runs the awards. Compering the evening was presenter of BBC's Landward programme Anne Lundon.

A further application round for the Food Processing, Marketing and Cooperation (FPMC) Scheme is now open.

This scheme can provide support grant to suppliers and producers to contribute to the Scottish Government's overall vision for food and drink in Scotland, which is to be a Good Food Nation, where it is second nature to produce, buy, serve and eat fresh, healthy food.

Funding can help you:

Capital Projects:

More than 150 people went aloong to the launch of a new online farmers' market in West Stirlingshire recently.

The launch of Balfron NeighbourFood took place at Balfron High on Monday 23 September. The online market allows people to shop online for seasonal produce from local farmers and producers and collect their order on a Thursday evening at Balfron High School. Almost 300 people have already signed up to the new service hosted by social enterprise The Hub G63.

Are you a young entrepreneur in rural Scotland? Want to improve your business skills?

If so, register for the Scottish Agricultural and Rural Youth Pre-Accelerator Programme Ignition event to be held on Tuesday 22 October at 10am at the Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston.

As part of a commitment of funding designed to support the growth of grassroots social enterprises, the Scottish Government have provided support for the creation of a Rural Social Enterprise Hub.