SRA Conference 26 – 27 February

Change is coming. How should Scotland’s rural communities, businesses, organisations and people respond? 

You are invited to attend the Scottish Rural Action conference, taking place alongside our AGM from 26th – 27th February 2020, to explore the challenges and opportunities facing rural Scotland during this period of change.  You can view the full programme here.

We are gathering in an inspirational venue that is symbolic of the changing face of rural Scotland; New Lanark World Heritage Centre.  What can we learn from rural Scotland’s industrial past?  What economic opportunities are about to present themselves? How can we better balance the wellbeing of our people and the needs of our planet? How can we work together to enact positive, meaningful change?

The conference will also kick start our ‘rural movement’. Rural Scotland’s voice needs to be heard, and the Scottish Government has tasked us with making that happen.  We need your input. 

We have designed a programme that is packed with inspiration, vision and experience.  Our speakers will include Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy, Robin McAlpine of Common Weal on the Green New Deal, Katherine Trebeck of the Wellbeing Alliance on the Rural Economy and Inclusive Growth and Niall McShannon, Managing Director of Clydesdale Community Initiatives on why he started a social enterprise, who they do it for and why they bought a farm!

We will be welcomed to South Lanarkshire by Kenny Lean of South Lanarkshire Council and by South Lanarkshire Provost, Councillor Ian McAllan.  You will have the opportunity to take part in one of four visits to inspirational local organisations, and to enjoy a gala dinner. 

Your workshop topics will explore in more depth the issues raised by our speakers, led by knowledgeable facilitators such as Aileen McLeod, former MEP, soil scientist Janet Moxley, community development expert Kirsten Robb and Theona Morrison of Community Development Lens.  We will explore how to develop a rural movement and explore how rural communities can help address climate change. We will look at practical measures to repopulate rural Scotland, and we will discuss the urgent issue of funding.

This event is completely free of charge to attend, but you are responsible for your own accommodation and transport costs.

This is an important period to influence the Scottish Government’s response to rural challenges, and we are urging all members of Scottish Rural Action, community organisations and partner organisations to get involved and feed into this process.  We hope you will find the conference programme inspiring and engaging, and we look forward to making your voice heard within Scotland’s new rural movement.

For more information about this event please contact Martin McManus on 07551 439 622 or e-mail


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