Group 1

Group 1 - wall
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Main themes

While there has been progress in addressing Mental health issues in rural communities, this is seen as under threat, especially from the disappearance of funding post Brexit. The group believes economic success requires a holistic approach, joined up across sectors and regions in the form of Unified Lobbying, with an increase of investment to develop existing opportunities (e.g. renewables, food, tourism, infrastructure). The group also focused on improving support for Mental Health as a key-enabler.

Present themes


  • Broadly successful
  • Strength in key sectors: tourism, renewable energy, food producers
  • Populated by good people who want to do good things
  • People finding their voice
  • Some good examples of Community Lead Local Development, but not everywhere
  • Forming of Support Networks, collaborative approach to learning; “Joined Upness”
  • Greater transparency
  • In want of a long term future: fearful of Brexit
  • Isolation: poor transport
  • Lack of engagement with communities, communities not listened to
  • Empowering on opportunities is complicated and disconnected
  • IT Challenged
  • Housing a real issue for all but the very wealthy
  • Uncertainty due to lack of services
  • No change in over 30 years in regards of society and enterprise
  • The economic (and other) potential beyond land-based activities is untapped
  • Low paid jobs with no or little career prospects
  • People asking for more support
  • Information sharing could be better


  • There is diversity of places and activities, increasing diversity of thought
  • Actions vary within communities
  • Government’s tourism policies are urban-based, lacks sustainability, is too bureaucratic and is seasonally focused
  • Lack of innovation and infrastructure
  • Lack of Investment and too seasonally focused
  • SME diversification leads to isolation of resources

Broadband / Connectivity

  • Lack of access to digital economy

Heaven themes


  • Partner with EU, Single Market discussions successful for the UK
  • Mental health: Local and Regional Wellbeing Networks; well connected communities with people being free to talk about their mental health
  • Joined up transport links
  • Sustainable agriculture in all communities
  • Dynamic and sustainable economic partnership
  • Joined up thinking and communication
  • Working with other countries

Policy Framework

  • Cross Sector Action on Mental Health removing all stigma with a Parity of Mental and Physical Health
  • Integrated approach to Rural Policy and Delivery with a coherent framework for all rural enterprises to flourish
  • Scotland has a world-leading Rural Policy with a Vison to integrate future community opportunities, with less greed, in order to avoid increasing unemployment, recognising the importance and contribution of all economic activities in Rural Scotland
  • Innovation; Research and Development funding 200% of current; and no more short term funding
  • Community Lead Local Development continues in good heart
  • No more empty homes

Hell themes

  • Communities live in fear of the future; absence of support networks and an increasing isolation of Scotland’s Rural communities
  • Loss of economic activity: less renewable investment, bad transport options, collapse of Health Care, disappearance of farming
  • Rural living becoming expensive; food shortages
  • Climate Change caused catastrophes; Worsening environmental conditions
  • Ghost Towns; depopulation of rural Scotland; abandoned communities
  • Continuing stigma around Mental Health
  • Silo approach to Rural Policy and Delivery; communities turning against each other
  • Rural not singing with one voice

Connect Heaven to the Present (timeline created and listed backwards, leading from Heaven to the Present)

  • Focus on Political Support for Rural Development
  • Invoke political change towards Unified Lobbying
  • Support Evidence-Lead Research and Share Success (seen as Good Fortune event)
  • Brexit (and wider) negotiations will be crucial

Feedback during reporting

  • It would have been good to have time to ask questions