News release: 06/09/14
Award-winning ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac), has been confirmed as the primary commercial sponsor for the Scottish Rural Parliament, taking place in November this year.
CalMac has a long established record of supporting community-based events across its network including the Royal National Mòd, the Stornoway-based Hebridean Celtic ( HebCelt ) and Tiree Music festivals, the Colonsay Book Festival and Cumbrae Country and Western Festival.
The Scottish Rural Parliament aims to give rural communities a stronger voice in decision-making. The inaugural national event takes place near CalMac’s busiest port in Oban in November this year. The event will bring together around 400 community people and decision-makers from public bodies, NGOs and private bodies, with the aim of improving rural policy and finding better ways of providing services.
John Hutchison, Chair of Scottish Rural Action the body responsible for organising the Rural Parliament said “We are delighted to be receiving sponsorship from Caledonian MacBrayne for this landmark event. Rural communities are reliant upon good transport links and businesses who understand their needs. Sponsorship from this essential service provider indicates a positive commitment to rural.”
Martin Dorchester, CalMac Managing director, said: “We were delighted to be given the opportunity to sponsor the first ever Scottish Rural Parliament and are keen to use it to underline that CalMac’s role in remote communities goes way beyond simply providing a ferry service. The company is a major employer and procurer of local goods and services, playing a critical part as a key economic enabler in the day to day life of some of Scotland’s most fragile and remote island and peninsular communities . We are looking forward to engaging with representatives from across our network to learn more about the challenges they face and to contributing to discussions on the needs of rural communities. “
The national event includes visits to local projects, workshops on the key themes chosen by rural communities, entertainment from Karen Matheson, Skipinnish and others, and locally produced food and drink.
Notes to Editors:
For more information about the Scottish Rural Parliament, see the FAQ page on our website or call John Hutchison on 07768 537698 or Emma Cooper on 07896 216236.
Details of local Rural Parliament events and booking processes are becoming available on the website as they are announced: www.scottishruralparliament.org.uk