Evaluation report into the Scottish Rural Network released

SRN Evaluation infographic with Fergus Ewing
Katharine Johnston

The Scottish Government have released an evaluation report into the Scottish Rural Network (SRN), part of the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP) which delivers Pillar 2 of the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and is funded by the European Commission and the Scottish Government.

The SRN works closely with key rural stakeholders. They support development, facilitation and delivery of a range of events (including high profile events such as the Scottish Rural Parliament and the 11th OECD Rural Development Conference), publish a weekly newsletter, utilise social media channels and generate case studies promoting funding opportunities, innovation and good practice geared to rural stakeholders.

Fergus Ewing - Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Tourism said:

“The Scottish Rural Network has played a vital role in supporting delivery of the Scottish Rural Development Programme, for example by developing and funding delivery of the Rural Innovation Support Service.

“Thanks to dedicated EC funding, their activities have helped rural communities and businesses and strengthened rural and island communities, through innovation, providing funding opportunities, and sharing good practices.   

“The report offers useful insight into the delivery of the schemes under SRDP, it will of course be important to ensure we build on any lessons from the past.

“CoVid-19 has reinforced only too well the importance of having these established networks to reach everyone in our rural communities. This is why the UK Government must replace these EC funds.  To enable recovery and maximise future opportunities for Rural Development we need clarity on the replacement funding now”.

The evaluation was produced by the Scottish Government’s Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services (RESAS) Division and the evaluation report can be found at the following link: SRN Evaluation

You can find out more about the Rural Innovation Support Service here