Currently, there is a limited evidence base on the makeup and drivers of change in our rural and island communities and economies. This report is the first of an annual series of reports stemming from research funded by the Scottish Government’s Strategic Research Programme 2022-27, that aims to provide novel insights on Scotland’s rural and island economies and communities. This new lens is particularly timely, with Scottish First Minister, Humza Yousaf, and his cabinet recently committing to a Rural Delivery Plan and a Remote, Rural and Island Housing Action Plan by 2026.
SRUC firstly reviewed rural and island policy to see how it has evolved over time. They also scanned a wide variety of data sources to help provide statistics that could help provide insights into the specific characteristics of, and issues faced by, rural and island economies and communities. As a starting point they extended the Scottish Government Urban Rural classification to provide a more nuanced lens with which to highlight specific challenges facing islands and very remote mainland regions.
Read the full report here.