Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP) 2014-2020 Stage 2: Final Proposals

Stage 2 document setting out the final proposals for the new rural development programme period (2014-2020).

Section 18: Communications


355. The SRDP is a large complex funding package which can impact on many different individuals, businesses and communities in Scotland. The next SRDP needs to be simpler and more customer friendly in order to deliver wider benefits and provide better value for money. This was echoed in the stage 1 consultation where respondents highlighted the importance of clear guidance and high quality advice.

Communications plan

356. A communications plan will be developed for the SRDP 2014 - 2020 in line with the requirements of the EC. This plan will outline the overall vision for SRDP communications, detailing key messages, audiences, channels and tactics/timelines. It will cover a wide brief as shown below:

Diagram F: SRDP Communications

Diagram F: SRDP Communications

How will the activities work together?

357. There will be cross-overs between the various information and services outlined above, and they will all be designed and delivered in a way that ensures they complement each other. For example:

  • The Advisory Service will provide advice and assistance to farmers, crofters, forest holders and other land managers via a dedicated advice helpline, web guidance, publications, seminars/workshops and demonstration projects. In addition to this, the Advisory Service will provide one to one general and specialist advice via contracted out services and engage with operational groups to disseminate knowledge and promote uptake of innovative practice on the ground. To assist with this, the SRN will be used to promote the service and share good practice though its contacts and at appropriate events.
  • The SRN will engage with the full range of stakeholders in rural Scotland - i.e. in addition to land managers, it will involve community groups, individuals and businesses in different sectors. Amongst other things, the SRN will organise and facilitate thematic working groups and networking events. Access to agricultural and forestry experts and academics to participate and present at such events, will be available through the Advisory Service.
  • The KTIF, which falls under the control of the Advisory Service, will provide funding for training and skills development in the agricultural and forestry sectors, as well as continuing to fund monitor farms in order to translate innovative approaches into practice. Activities will include workshops, farm visits, coaching and training courses. The staff supporting the delivery of the SRN will be experts in event management and facilitation and will be ideally placed to support these types of activities.
  • Customer support will be provided throughout the life of the programme, including increasing the amount of assessment visits to help the applicant understand the rules. This will be rolled out as capacity allows. Improved customer access online to information about the progress of SRDP transactions and support within RPID area offices to give a speedier response to queries will also enhance support. Better signposting will also be provided to the range of different services provided by partners. Where assessment visits identify situations where applicants would benefit from advice case officers will sign-post applicants to the Advisory Services Hub.
  • Strengthening of online content and scheme guidance for rural customers will include guidance which makes the requirements for applicants and staff much clearer. The online presence of the SRN and the Advisory Service will be designed in a way that complements, signposts and links to the scheme guidance, as appropriate.

358. The Advisory Services and the SRN will interface with the EIP Network and the ENRD to help disseminate good practice and innovative approaches internationally - from Scotland to Europe and vice versa.

359. Further details are available in this consultation on the Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund (section 15), the Advisory Service (section 16) and the Scottish Rural Network (section 17).

Question 35

How would you rate your broad satisfaction with the proposals for communicating the new Scotland Rural Development Programme? Please tick the appropriate box in the online questionnaire.

Very satisfied
Quite satisfied
Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
Quite dissatisfied
Very dissatisfied

If you are dissatisfied please briefly outline your reasons (in the space given in the online questionnaire).


Email: Julie Brown

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