SRA Conference 2017

Over 100 people came together in Dunfermline to take part in our conference and AGM.  We had a range of workshops, talks, and networking opportunities for people to take part in.  Here you can find all of the information that was generated over the two days.  We have slides and notes from our keynote speakers, slides from our workshops and the top priorities or areas of work generated from each of the workshops and full delegate list.

The conference started with a half day Ideation session, participants from LEADER Local Action Groups, local authorities, Scottish Government and other organisations involved with rural / economic development were invited to help create a vision for the future.  Read all about the session and the outcomes.

We are now able to make available the full list of PowerPoint slides from our fantastic speakers.  You can also download a full list of our Speaker Biographies from all workshops and plenary sessions.

Also available for download are the AGM Draft Minutes and you can also see the full Delegate list.



Panel debate

A panel debate was held, full notes of this session are available for download.

Policy opportunities and challenges for rural Scotland

Paul Daly (SRA Policy Officer) talked about upcoming policy developments relevant to rural communities, much of which was covered in the Programme for Government.  You can read his paper Programme for Government 2017-18: Our View

SRA Volunteer Programme

Fiona Thompson (SRA Volunteer and Campaigns Coordinator) gave an outline of volunteers working at Scottish Rural Action. Volunteering and Campaigns at SRA



Below is a list of all the workshops that took place at the conference.  Click on the title of the workshop to see the outcomes and downloadable content.

Developing & empowering rural leaders for the future

Rural transport

Empty homes scheme

Three key points:

  • Lack of clarity in the empty homes/business premises landscape – regulations operationalised (or not) in different ways eg Empty Homes Officer role doesn’t exist in every local authority area, sometimes the role is subsumed within another post.
  • Complexity of the regulations and length of time to work through the process can put people off or put the process out of reach for some
  • There are some examples of good practice, it would be helpful to have a case study type resource to see how things worked (or didn’t work) in real situations eg a group in Dumfries Town Centre has been working with Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Empty Homes Officer

Inclusiveness & wellbeing in rural Scotland

Three key points:

  • NHS 24 offers no mental health advice/support (clarified later that NHS 24 runs Breathing Space so point was amended to ‘lack of awareness of NHS 24 services) (4)
  • Mental Health Strategy includes support for the Rural Forum – gives us a way to intervene in the development of MH support (5)
  • Lack of services/closures/reduced funding – GP’s, post offices, banks, pools etc (5)

Economic development for local community activists in rural Scotland

Social Media

Dr Jennifer Jones gave a workshop on social media and digital story telling

Paul Daly

Paul Daly

Paul has an MSc in Environmental Studies, and a BA (Hons) in Psychology.

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