Who will attend the Rural Parliament?
Around 400 people, most of whom will be people who live and work in rural Scotland. They will be people who are active in some way in their community and looking to share ideas, gain inspiration, learn new skills and influence decision-making on issues that are important to them, such as Brexit, connectivity, enterprise, community ownership and democracy.
Around ¼ of the people who attend will be from decision-making bodies such as Scottish Government, NHS Scotland, Transport Scotland, Highlands & Islands Enterprise and so on. This is so that we can forge a closer connection between people who make decisions and the people those decisions affect.
Why should I attend the Rural Parliament?
For people from rural communities, the Rural Parliament is an excellent opportunity to influence policy and decision-makers directly on the issues that are most important to you and to share ideas and collaborate with people from across the country. This year, there will also be a number of practical workshops you can choose to attend which will assist you to take action in your community. There will be an exhibition of around 40 organisations with relevance to rural life and work and many of whom will inspire you or be able to assist you.
For people in decision-making roles, the Rural Parliament is a chance to connect with people who are active in their local community from all over rural Scotland. You can gather their views, engage in discussion and debate, listen to their concerns and ideas and share your understanding and concerns with people.
The Rural Parliament is a celebration of rural life and you will also find it to be stimulating and fun, and a great way to meet new like-minded people.
Where will the Rural Parliament be held?
The Rural Parliament is held in a different part of Scotland each year it takes place. This is the third event and we are delighted to be holding it in the south of Scotland following successful events in Oban, Argyll & the Islands in 2014, and in Brechin, Angus in 2016.
Do I have to be elected to attend?
The name ‘Rural Parliament’ is adopted from our European equivalents, and is not the same as the Scottish Parliament for example.
How much does it cost to attend?
The three-course Thursday evening dinner and ceilidh are optional and this costs £35 per person in addition to any other fees paid. Partners or other guests who are not otherwise attending may also attend the Thursday evening meal.
Community organisations – Free or donations
Representatives of community organisations, whether attending in a paid or voluntary role, can attend the Rural Parliament for free. (See above regarding Thursday evening dinner.) You do not have to state which organisation you are representing, as we realise many people wear several ‘hats’!
At every event some people choose to make a donation or to pay a fee for attending the event, which makes a significant contribution to the costs of holding the event. If you would like to do this, then you can tell us so when you are booking. We will then invoice you or arrange a direct payment.
Accommodation is not included, but community organisations and individuals can be given support to meet their travel and accommodation costs for attending the event, and more information will follow about this following your booking. The amount of support we can offer depends on the support we are given by sponsors and supporters.
EARLY-BIRD FEES – limited places available.
Non-profit organisations (turnover <£500k/annum) – £95 per person
Non-profit organisations (turnover >£500k/annum) – £155 per person
Public sector – £235 per person
Private sector – £295 per person
International guests – £150 per person
FEES FOR ATTENDING
Non-profit organisations (turnover <£500k/annum) – £145 per person
Non-profit organisations (turnover >£500k/annum) – £195 per person
Public sector – £345 per person
Private sector – £395 per person
International guests – £150 per person
We realise that not everyone fits neatly into these categories, so please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any queries. We would generally expect individuals wanting to attend to be involved in some way with a community organisation.
When does it start/finish?
How do I book to host a fringe workshop?
We will ask if you are interested in hosting a fringe event when you book and we will then be in touch with more information.
Are accommodation and transport provided?
Where can I stay in Stranraer?
There are lots of accommodation options in Stranraer and the surrounding area. The North West Castle Hotel in Stranraer, where dinner will be held on the Thursday night, and their sister hotel in Portpatrick have offered a special rate for participants in the event.
Can I get more information about the programme?
We will be releasing more information about the programme as it becomes available. You can contact us to sign up to the Scottish Rural Action mailing list to be the first to know!
I have mobility restrictions and/or a disability
If you need to bring a carer to be able to attend the Rural Parliament, or need to bring an adult you care for, please indicate this in the registration form. It is free to bring a carer regardless of the fee category you are in.