First Scottish Rural Summit announced

People taking part in Open Space session at first Scottish Rural Parliament
Norette Ferns

Scottish Rural Action have announced that the first Scottish Rural Summit will take place on 24 November in East Lothian.

This event will bring together invited representatives from the public sector, rural communities and others to look at opportunities for rural Scotland to be empowered, connected and sustainable.

The Rural Summit follows on from the first Scottish Rural Parliament, organised by Scottish Rural Action, which took place in Oban in November last year. Hundreds of people from across the country identified key rural issues and possible solutions.

Key topics included rural businesses and employment, broadband and mobile phone signal, transport, community action, and local democracy all of which will be addressed at the rural summit.

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment Richard Lochhead said:

"Rural Parliaments are hugely successful in giving rural communities a voice and I am very keen that this Rural Summit will encourage key partners in the public and private sector across rural Scotland to meet with and discuss the opportunities to work together with the Rural Parliament.

"I believe we all have a support role in the delivery of the Scottish Rural Parliament Action Plan, which sets out the priority issues and solutions as identified by rural communities themselves. I want to see a similarly dynamic and influential Rural Parliament movement here in Scotland and would encourage all invited participants to accept the invitation from the Rural Parliament and get involved in the Rural Summit next month."

Following the Scottish Rural Parliament in 2014 and discussions with stakeholders, Scottish Rural Action produced an Action Plan. They say the Rural Summit is a fantastic opportunity to share this action plan with some of the bodies who can be instrumental in helping to achieve the aims of rural communities.

Co-Chair of Scottish Rural Action which is hosting the event John Hutchison said:

"The Rural Summit is an opportunity to highlight those issues of greatest important to rural communities and work with decision-makers to take forward the solutions to those issues identified at the Rural Parliament last year. We anticipate a dynamic and productive day which ensures rural voices are not just heard, but acted upon."

The half-day event will be held on 24 November at the Brunton in Musselburgh and is sponsored by East Lothian Council. Please note that this event is invite only.

Visit the Scottish Rural Parliament website for more information.