Rural Economy Action Group minutes: October 2019

Minutes and papers from the first meeting of the Rural Economy Action Group on 3 October 2019.

Attendees and apologies

Scottish Government members:

  • Carol Tannahill, Chief Social Policy Adviser
  • Andrew Scott, Director for Sustainable Land Use and Rural Policy
  • Colin Cook, Director of Digital
  • Shirley Laing, Director for Housing and Social Justice 

Scottish Government deputies:

  • Heather Cowan, Transport
  • Dermot Rhatigan, Economic Development 
  • Simon Fuller, Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services 

External Challenge members:

  • Iain Docherty, Dean of the Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Stirling
  • Jeremy Phillipson, Professor of Rural Development, University of Newcastle
  • Jo Dow, Chief Executive, Business Stream

REAG secretariat:

  • Amanda Fox
  • Pamela Berry
  • Ann-Marie Meikle
  • Leighton Herriot


  • Catriona Maclean
  • Roy Brannen 
  • Gary Gillespie 
  • Richard Rollison 
  • Kersti Berge

Items and actions



  • Carol Tannahill

Welcome and scene setting from the Cabinet Secretary

NCRA film

Role, remit and ways of working

Understanding the rural economy presentation from Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services (RESAS) 

Update on National Council of Rural Advisers (NCRA) recommendations - progress



  • Landscapes
  • Next steps
  • How to make the most of SG strategy opportunities


Summary and next steps    


Number Action Deadline/update
1 Investigate stakeholder engagement options for future REAG meetings In Progress
2 Engage with the Infrastructure Commission In Progress
3 Update draft REAG Purpose In Progress
4 Explore options for REAG to engage with Marine Scotland & Scottish Government’s Skills Division In Progress
5 Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services (RESAS) to provide further analysis for REAG In Progress
6 Explore venue options and progress plans for future REAG meetings In Progress
7 Review progress on housing and planning issues In Progress



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