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 1: Introduction

14. The stage 1 consultation on initial proposals for the next Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP) received more than 150 responses from a broad mix of interested parties including local authorities; environmental, nature and heritage conservation bodies; farming and crofting organisations; community groups; economic development agencies and individuals.

15. These responses were independently analysed and this was carefully considered by the Scottish Government. The analysis concluded that respondents were broadly in agreement with the majority of the proposals in principle, however, there was a desire for more detail to know how this would work in practice. There was also a clear call for the SRDP to be simpler and more accessible. This was reinforced by the cross-cutting issues which included the complexity and accessibility of schemes; emphasis on outcomes, and a tension between the need for clarity and a need for flexibility within the schemes. The full analysis can be found at

16. This second consultation builds on initial proposals from the first consultation and takes account of the analysis and feedback we received. It also takes account of the relevant aspects of the European Structural Funds 2014 - 2020 Programmes Consultation[1]. Finally, it reflects the latest information and draft Rural Development Regulation (RDR)[2] from Europe (however, new guidance on the detail of how to implement the regulations continues to be issued) and on-going discussions with stakeholders.

17. What follows sets out our proposals on how we expect to use the European and domestic funds accessed through the SRDP, and how this will be aligned with other EU funds. This includes an outline of the schemes we propose to run and an indication of the budget allocations for our priorities. In addition we consider support and communications, particularly through the Advisory Service and Scottish Rural Network and how we will improve monitoring and evaluation.

18. Finally, this consultation includes two of the impact assessments we are required to carry out - the Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment and the Equalities Impact Assessment. Another essential component is the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), for which a separate consultation will be launched shortly and will be available through our website

19. The consultation covers the broad range of the areas that the SRDP delivers towards, along with providing a greater level of detail about how the different aspects will work in practice, as called for in the stage 1 consultation responses. This has resulted in a lengthy document, however it has been laid out in clear sections and annexes to ensure readers can easily access the areas that are of interest to them.

20. The responses to this consultation will allow us to finalise our proposals for our Rural Development Programme which we aim to submit to the European Commission (EC) in spring 2014. This timetable has been revised due to delays in Europe in agreeing the necessary legislation and the budget. The revised timetable for implementation is given in annex A.

21. Due to these delays, the EC has produced a draft transitional regulation which has allowed us to confirm that key elements of the SRDP will continue in 2014. LFASS will continue as normal in 2014, agri-environment and organic contracts ending this year will be extended, woodland creation and woodland management projects will be able to go ahead in 2014-15 under contracts being approved up to the end of this year, and the main elements of the Crofting Counties Agricultural Grant Scheme (CCAGS) will continue.

22. The proposals discussed in this consultation, therefore, are for the new SRDP which we aim to begin from 1 January 2015.

23. The questions we would appreciate responses on are set out throughout this document, and are given in the online questionnaire. In some cases the proposals just provide additional information as requested in the first consultation, in others we are responding to European regulations. We have only asked questions where your views can make a difference and can help us develop effective structures and processes for the communication and delivery of the SRDP. Please note that you do not have to answer all of the questions if you do not wish to do so; we are happy to take partial responses.

24. Please respond via the online questionnaire where the questions are reproduced.

25. The closing date for responses is 28 February 2014. Late responses cannot be included in the analysis but will be read and taken into consideration.


Email: Julie Brown

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