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National Council of Rural Advisers

In Summer 2017, Mr Ewing, Minister for Rural Economy and Connectivity, announced the setup of the independent National Council of Rural Advisers (NCRA).

The Council’s remit is twofold: to provide evidence based advice to Scottish Ministers on the implications of Scotland leaving the EU, and to recommend future actions that could sustain a vibrant and flourishing rural economy.


The Council is co-chaired by Alison Milne and Lorne Crerar with an additional 12 members drawn from a variety of backgrounds. Members are appointed as unpaid and independent advisors on the basis of their lived expertise within the rural economy.

You can access full biographical descriptions of council members below.



The council meets regularly every 4-6 weeks and the actions of their meetings can be found at the bottom of the page.


The NCRA will publish a discussion document in Summer 2018.

The Council published its interim report into the implications for rural Scotland of the UK leaving the EU in November 2017. The report is intended as a snapshot of those aspects of rural life that the NCRA think are key to informing the Scottish Government on Brexit.

The report covers the potential implications of Brexit on rural Scotland, with a focus on trade, labour & skills, funding, legislation & standards. It concludes with a number of key areas that should be taken forward by everyone as we prepare for brexit in Spring 2019 and beyond.

You can read the full report here

Stakeholder workshops

The Council recognises it’s essential to engage rural communities in voicing the needs of rural Scotland, and welcomes views that will shape their work.

Council co Chair, Alison Milne, has been chairing stakeholder ‘Rural thinks’ workshops across Scotland from many communities representatives including small and medium enterprises, agriculture, social enterprises, fisheries, farmers, forestry, renewable energy organisations, government organisations and many more. The Council will also consult with  with young people and equalities groups.

The aim of these workshops was to gather feedback to help develop recommendations on the future of the rural economy, including how to create and maintain a vibrant rural economy.

Each workshop comprised discussion around the following three themes:

• Infrastructure – enabling success

• People – investing in talent and creating opportunities

• Vision – the narrative of Rural Scotland – selling the story and the brand

Workshop Stirling

Workshop participants discussing the future of rural Scotland


Have a question? Get in contact with the Council secretariat here

Meeting Actions Log

Downloadable documents:

Title:National Council of Rural Advisers
Description:Homepage of the National Council of Rural Advisers
File:NCRA 1st meeeting agenda and action points [DOCX, 29.4 kb: 05 Oct 2017]
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File:NCRA 2nd meeting action log [DOCX, 26.1 kb: 23 Nov 2017]
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File:NCRA 3rd meeting agenda and action log [DOCX, 27.3 kb: 11 Jan 2018]
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File:Council Members Biographies 2018 [DOCX, 22.8 kb: 03 Apr 2018]
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