Thriving Communities

Rural communities across Scotland are diverse, from remote islands to accessible areas close to major cities. They are diverse too, in terms of the age of the local population, the diversity of local economic activity and the provision of services and infrastructure.

Follow the links below to read about our work on the topic of Thriving Communities.

Latest Thriving Communites Work 

The characteristics of agriculture, the environment and rural communities in Scotland

Scottish agriculture is very particular and the policy related to it is strongly connected to issues like crofting, constrained land-use, and the European Common Agricultural Policy. 

This briefing discusses the key characteristics of Scottish agriculture and its relationship to the Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union. Specifically, on how the policy objectives of Scottish agricultural policy and its outcomes such as supporting production, protecting the environment and population retention will be affected by the United Kindom's exit of the European Union. 


After Brexit: 10 key questions for rural policy in Scotland (2018)

This report compriss main findings and outputs from a joint SRUC-Newcastle University workshop on rural policy options for Scotland post-Brexit.

Diverse rural economies: Discussion at the Cross Party Group in the Scottish Parliament on Rural Policy (2017)

This briefing contains the key messages from the October 2017 Cross Party Group on Rural Policy, at which Fergus Ewing MSP, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity, delivered a short presentation that was followed by an open discussion.

Growth sector businesses in rural South of Scotland: Enterprise support experiences, needs and local connections (2017)

This briefing summarises work undertaken to explore the business support experiences of firms located in rural areas in the South of Scotland, and their needs, challenges and opportunities. It also explored how firms had responded to unexpected, largely external challenges or disruptions. Key findings include:

  • The need for a broad definition of ‘business support’ agencies - businesses themselves rarely distinguish between those organisations with specific remits for enterprise support and the larger range of bodies that they engage with.
  • The need to encourage closer ties and better signposting between the range of bodies supporting rural businesses so that the assistance received is appropriately planned, resourced and coordinated.
  • Firms’ experience of accessing public sector organisations was mixed with many saying that they did not approach such organisations regularly or often. However, they do require support with specific things and/or on specific occasions – including when they are experiencing unexpected challenges. 

Informality, Inclusion and the Green Economy Transition: Insights from Johannesburg, South Africa (2017)

This research briefing by Hannah Benn uses South Africa as a case study for exploring issues around the informal economy and social exclusion to facilitate a more socially inclusive and sustainable 'Green Economy Transition'

Dr Jane Atterton

Rural Policy Centre Manager and Policy Researcher

Address: Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), Peter Wilson Building, Kings Buildings, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JG.

Telephone: 0131 535 4256

Fax: 0131 535 4345

E-mail: jane.atterton@sruc.ac.uk