We are testing a new beta website for gov.scot go to new site

Rural Services

Key Areas of Importance for Rural Communities

The Scottish Government focuses on four key areas of importance to rural communities (definition of rural communities):

  • a strong and diverse rural economy, harnessing traditional strengths and with an appetite for change
  • thriving rural communities where everyone can enjoy a decent quality of life, where the young are not forced to leave their communities to get on and where the vulnerable are no longer excluded
  • strong, community focused public services that are accessible, of the highest possible quality and with the greatest possible choice
  • a rural Scotland whose natural and cultural heritage flourishes in all its diversity

The work of the Scottish Government includes transport, culture, education, health and considers:

  • the impact of all policies on rural areas
  • how rural issues should be reflected in policy development and
  • how information on rural policy should be shared with external organisations

Support for Rural Communities

The Government supports rural communities in a number of different ways:

- supporting Scotland's first ever Rural Parliament

- supporting Scottish Islands Federation to enable them to become a more effective voice and agent of change for island communities

- through grass roots led local activity that supports rural development and social inclusion through Local Development Strategies under the Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP)- LEADER 2014- 2020. More information and contacts on LEADER at www.ruralnetwork.scot 

- to ensure an appropriate evidence base through an effective Rural Research Programme

- through Common Agricultural Policy funding - Rural Payments and Services