New Rural Economy Action Group established

From left to right: Iain Docherty - University of Stirling, Carol Tannahill - Chair, SG  Cab Secretary for Rural Economy Fergus Ewing, Johanna Dow - Business Stream, Jeremy Phillipson - University of Newcastle
Norette Ferns

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.

The independent National Council of Rural Advisers (NCRA) was announced in summer 2017 to provide evidence based advice to Scottish Ministers on the implications of Scotland leaving the European Union (EU) and to recommend future actions that could sustain a vibrant and flourishing rural economy.

The NCRA published their final recommendations in September 2018 and more than 90% of recommendations made now been accepted by the Scottish Government.

The new Rural Economy Action Group will ensure rural policy is embedded in all decision making, propose indicators to enable the value of the rural economy to be captured and monitored, and identify barriers preventing the mainstreaming of rural policy.

Speaking as the Group met for the first time, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy Fergus Ewing said:

"Scotland’s rural economy is bursting with potential and is the driving force behind much of our national prosperity, which is why I am determined to ensure that rural considerations are at the heart of all government thinking and planning.

"Depopulation is a real threat to many rural communities.  We need more people to live and work in rural Scotland and therefore we require a dynamic approach to policy including planning to enable and facilitate that.

"Having accepted and already commenced delivery of more than 90% of the National Council of Rural Advisers recommendations, I have tasked the new Rural Economy Action Group with setting the tone for change through effectively mainstreaming the rural agenda within all policy decisions.

"As we look to continue to grow a vibrant, sustainable and inclusive rural economy, I look forward to working with the Group as it looks at the wider needs of our rural communities and economy."

Visit the Scottish Government website to find about more about the Rural Economy Action Group.