The Scottish Government is committed to supporting rural life, rural communities and the rural economy. To do so it has 'mainstreamed' the needs of rural Scotland within all of its policies.
In this way, rather than setting rural Scotland aside as something different , it has encouraged all policy makers to take the needs of rural areas seriously and to adapt their policies to meet local needs and circumstances wherever possible.
A number of bodies and mechanisms exist to oversee and co-ordinate the Government's approach to rural development.
A Rural Policy Team, within the Rural Communities Team based at B1 Spur, Saughton House, Broomhouse Drive, Edinburgh EH11 3XD works across Scottish Government to support rural development and community led activity. This includes the development of Local Development Strategies through LEADER ; support for Scotland's first Rural Parliament (established in October 2014) and community led inititives that help our understanding of what works (or not) to support and enable rural communities and enterprises. Evidence based policy making backed up by direct feedback from rural communities will inform the work of this team.
The Rural Parliament provides a rural voice community, businesses and individuals and has set out the priorities that Rural Communities themselves have prioritised.
This rural community voice ensures that Government's policies can get feedback and the needs and circumstances of rural communities can be captured at a national level. Importantly they also keep policy makers in touch with the views of the communities they serve.