Analysis of Responses to the Second Consultation on the Scottish Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 Summary Report

This report is a summary of responses to the proposals set out in the second consultation on the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP). The SRDP is a programme of economic, environmental and social measures designed to develop rural Scotland. The second consultation set out proposals for the new SRDP (2014-2020), including proposals on budgets, schemes, delivery mechanisms and communications.

2 Summary Findings

Overview of Findings

2.1 This section provides a summary of the key points and statistics for each question encompassing the balance of opinion of respondents, key challenges and suggested changes to proposals.

2.2 Within the consultation document, each set of scheme proposals (or delivery mechanisms) included a question which asked the respondent to rate their level of satisfaction with the proposals. Table 2.1 provides a summary of satisfaction by scheme and notes the key points raised by respondents.

Table 2.1 Overview of Satisfaction with Schemes

Satisfaction level with the proposals


Level of Satisfaction and key points made by respondents

More than 60% satisfied

Knowledge Transfer and Innovation fund

66% Respondents welcomed the increase in funding and supported the intention to link more closely with Skills Development and the Advisory Service. There was feedback that care should be taken to prevent duplication of services.

Co-operative Action

65% Respondents noted that it was helpful to support co-operative action in order to secure improvements at an ecosystem or landscape scale.


64% responded that financial support should be continued for farmers operating in constrained areas, but there was significant feedback that the scheme needed to be reviewed in order to more effectively target disadvantaged areas.

50-60% satisfied

Food and Drink Support

51% Comments reflected a desire to make the application process fairer for smaller businesses and some wished to ensure it was more holistic, allowing funding to meet wider social and environmental benefits as well as business development.


51% Reasonable support with the proposals. Dissatisfied respondents commented that proposals were complicated, over-bureaucratic and lacked a grass roots approach. Also feedback that the SRN should take care not to duplicate efforts of other agencies.


50% Seen as a good exemplar of integrated rural community development but caveats noted that budget was too small and administrative procedures burdensome.

Communication Plans

50% Reasonable support but respondents recommended that the plan should aim at simplicity and communicate the aims of the Programme not just the grant mechanisms. There were also requests for improved guidance relating to the grant schemes.

Forestry Scheme

50% General support but concerns were raised that the budget is too small and additions to the scheme, although welcome in principle, put pressure on an already tight budget and were therefore unrealistic.

35-49% satisfied

Land Based Investment approach

47% Support in principle to proposed approach but caveats were raised about how the approach would work in practice and specifically about training of case officers and consistency across the country.

Small Rural Business support

46% Support in principle for the fund but caveats were raised over particular details such as eligibility and fund administration.

Advisory service

44% Agreement from many that the development of a co-ordinated advisory service was welcome. However, concerns were raised around whether it was duplicating existing commercial advice services.

New Entrants Scheme

44% Reasonable support for proposals. Caveats related to a request for clarity on the difference between new entrant and inter-generational renewal. Some respondents also thought that the scheme should be expanded to forestry and crofting.

Agri Environment scheme

39% Mixed views with some support. Main points of dissatisfaction related to the budget being too constrained and that insufficient detail had been provided around options and targeting.

Crofting and Small Farm Support

35% Mixed views on whether the scheme should be limited to crofts and/or whether it should be limited to crofting counties.

Less than 35% satisfied

Balance of the Budget

13% General dissatisfaction with the level of the budget evident. Interest groups arguing that their sector should receive more funding. Large campaign response arguing for more funding for the agri-environment scheme.


Email: Liz Hawkins

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