Rural & Islands beyond 2020

Rural & Islands Beyond 2020: connect, re-imagine, redesign


COVID-19 has impacted on the way that government and rural and island communities deliver services, enact governance and promote wellbeing and enterprise. The pandemic gave rise to challenges, but it has also created opportunities and new ways of thinking.  

SRA launched Rural & Islands Beyond 2020 (RIB 2020) in order to channel learning from rural Scotland’s pandemic response into action at local and national level that strengthens rural resilience, redesign and renewal beyond 2020.

The RIB2020 Programme objectives are aligned with the objectives of the rural movement within the Programme for Government 2019-20:  

  1. To connect rural communities of place and of interest, enabling them to share their expertise and best practice on matters relating to rural resilience, redesign and renewal.
  1. To advance two-way dialogue between rural communities and decision-makers, ensuring that policy and legislation at all levels of government is enacted in response to expert input from those living and working in rural Scotland. 


RIB2020 - programme overview


The RIB2020 programme is designed as a multi-platform approach. It includes:

  • May – Sept 2020: National research - surveys and interviews – capturing a broad-brush picture of rural communities’ evolving response to the pandemic;
  • September- November 2020: Small-scale engagement projects involving rural communities of place (regional engagement) and rural communities of interest (thematic engagement), exploring their aspirations for the recovery phase and beyond;
  • 2021:  A communications and implementation process for the actions identified during the engagement projects, giving structure to ongoing engagement between rural communities and decision-makers.