Rural Youth Project Smart Village appeals for young digital champions

Eilidh Carr, founder of The Coralbox on North Uist
Katharine Johnston

The world’s first Smart Village for young people is on the hunt for digital champions age 18-28 from across Angus, Lanarkshire, Outer Hebrides, Rural Perth and Kinross and the Scottish Borders.

A total of 12 digital champions will work with Scotland’s Rural Youth Project to help develop a pioneering “world first” youth-centric Smart Village. It will champion young people to collaboratively build vibrant, creative, and sustainable rural communities and economies in the places they call home.

The Rural Youth Project Smart Village, designed by Smart Village Scotland, will be the first digital portal designed by young people for young people. As well as developing a dynamic, interactive platform, the project will also provide valuable digital and business experience for young people, with a full suite of training for the selected digital champions, one to one support from enterprise facilitators if they have a business idea they would like to explore and support with CV building and skills development.

Co-Founders and Directors of the Rural Youth Project, Jane Craigie and Rebecca Dawes, said: “The mission behind the Rural Youth Project Smart Village is to deliver a digital place that really benefits young people in many aspects of their rural lives. It will be a space for young people to network and form mentoring relationships with their peers and, also older business and community leaders, while also having access to learning resources to support them in building a vibrant, creative and sustainable rural economy in Scotland.

The twelve selected digital champions will receive £500 to cover their voluntary expenses and time in supporting the project and will get the opportunity to work with a web developer in creating, designing and shaping content of the new digital platform.

Further details about the digital champions role and how to apply can be found now at and applications close on 26 October.

Smart Villages, a concept being adopted by communities all over Scotland, are rural digital ‘villages’ that combine physical and digital communities to improve their resilience, building on local strengths and opportunities. Smart Village Scotland has partnered with the Rural Youth Project, to create the Rural Youth Project Smart Village which will be a super connected community that will function as a space for young people to connect, to build or expand their enterprise and leadership skills and to trade.

Daniel Muir,  Smart Village Scotland Project Manager said; ““Smart Villages are being developed to support a number of communities in Scotland and Europe. A dedicated one for young people is essential to enable them to connect, have a voice, share ideas, engage with relevant entrepreneurs and community leaders to help them to address challenges where they want to live, study and work. We are delighted that a vibrant Smart Village community, built for and by young people, is now being developed to support the five LEADER areas supporting the project; Angus, Lanarkshire, Outer Hebrides, Rural Perth and Kinross and the Scottish Borders. This is a fantastic opportunity for young people to get involved and develop new skills to be part of shaping the future for their community.”