We are delighted to announce that the inaugural Scottish Rural Summit will take place on 24th November 2015 in Musselburgh, East Lothian. The event brings together invited representatives from the public sector, rural communities and other stakeholders to examine opportunities for rural Scotland to be empowered, connected and sustainable.
Scotland’s Rural Parliament met for the first time in November last year in Oban and engaged thousands of people in rural Scotland in identifying key issues and solutions to rural concerns. Key topics included rural businesses and employment, broadband and mobile phone signal, transport, community action, and local democracy all of which will be addressed at the rural summit. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to share our action plan with some of the bodies who can be instrumental in helping us to achieve the aims of rural communities; local authorities, public bodies, and third sector organisations.
Ahead of the Rural Summit planned for November Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment Richard Lochhead said “Rural Parliaments are hugely successful in giving rural communities a voice and I am very keen that this Rural Summit will encourage key partners in the public and private sector across rural Scotland to meet with and discuss the opportunities to work together with the Rural Parliament.
“I believe we all have a support role in the delivery of the Scottish Rural Parliament Action Plan, which sets out the priority issues and solutions as identified by rural communities themselves. I want to see a similarly dynamic and influential Rural Parliament movement here in Scotland and would encourage all invited participants to accept the invitation from the Rural Parliament and get involved in the Rural Summit next month.”
Co-Chair of Scottish Rural Action which is hosting the event John Hutchison said “The Rural Summit is an opportunity to highlight those issues of greatest important to rural communities and work with decision-makers to take forward the solutions to those issues identified at the Rural Parliament last year. We anticipate a dynamic and productive day which ensures rural voices are not just heard, but acted upon.”
The half-day event will be held at the Brunton in Musselburgh and is sponsored by East Lothian Council. Cllr. John McMillan, East Lothian Council’s spokesperson for Economic Development and Tourism added: “We are delighted to welcome the Scottish Rural Summit to East Lothian. The county, although just minutes from Edinburgh, enjoys a strong rural economy with agriculture, fishing and food and drink production amongst the finest in Scotland. The Summit will provide an invaluable opportunity to learn from others and to share the challenges of sustaining and growing traditional and new local businesses, promoting innovation, creativity, and quality.”