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Meeting 1: Taking a place-based approach to address demographic change in rural Scotland

Tuesday 29th October 2019

The first meeting of the Cross Party Group in the Scottish Parliament on Rural Policy 2019-20 was held on Tuesday 29th October 2019, and focused on  ‘Taking a place-based approach to address demographic change in rural Scotland’ and also include the Group’s AGM.

This meeting was slightly different to usual, with a series of short interventions (5 minutes max) to start the meeting, focusing initially on the demographic trends across rural Scotland, and then on a range of place-based responses. 

Demographic Context:

  • Simon Fuller: Deputy Director, Rural & Environmental Science and Analytical Services, Scottish Government – Contextual information on how rural Scotland’s population is projected to change in future
  • Andrew Copus/Jon Hopkins: James Hutton Institute – Scotland’s Sparsely Populated Areas
  • Calum Macleod: Policy Director, Community Land Scotland – Community Empowerment and Sustainable Landscapes

Place-based responses:

  • Murray Ferguson: Director of Planning and Rural Development, Cairngorms National Park Authority – Demographic change in the Cairngorms National Park
  • Cameron Anson: Our Island Home Development Officer, Rural Housing Scotland – Addressing population decline through housing provision in Scotland’s islands
  • Thomas Fisher: Director, CoDel (Community Development Lens) – Responding to demographic change in Uist
  • Mark Lodge: Senior Strategies and Policy Officer, Argyll and Bute Council – Responding to demographic change in Argyll and Bute
  • Paul Zochowski: Planning Advisor, East Lothian Council – Responding to demographic change in East Lothian
  • Ashleigh Weeden: University of Guelph, Canada (visiting researcher in the Rural Policy Centre, SRUC) – Some reflections on place-based policy  

Following the presentations was a short discussion session, where we heard from lots of participants about their experiences of demographic change and place-based responses.

The unnapproved minutes and handouts from the speakers presentations are available to download here


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