Group 3

Group 3 -wall
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Main themes

The key to a successful future is in empowering communities, shifting the focus away from agriculture and promoting more diversity in the economy, allowing communities to take advantage of the rich assets, talents and the enthusiasm they have.

There is a strong belief that rural communities can become sustainable, but not via the current policies of either government, which appear to give disproportional advantages to urban areas and agriculture. Even where positive policies are articulated, they are not backed by action.

The lack of diverse opportunities threatens rural communities’ ability to keep young people from moving to urban areas. What is needed is a strong political commitment to Community Empowerment.

Present themes

  • Lack of money in Rural Areas; Funding currently available reinforces status quo and decline
  • Creative solutions to rural issues, ideas and talent with potential abound but in need of support to exploit opportunities
  • Vibrant community activity
  • Issues with transport, services and support
  • Asset rich, but cash poor
  • Land prices reflect non-productive values, which is unhelpful
  • Working landscape vs. Theme park


  • Rural people are driven, determinate, passionate and enthusiastic in improving their communities
  • Need to promote job opportunities in the future of farms and farming
  • Lack of transport and other resources; new initiatives lack ambition
  • Community windfarm benefit is very difficult to match to community engagement
  • Positive cultural initiatives, but early days in connecting with rural communities

Lack of support

  • Uncertainty, lack of guidance on potential and possibilities or what is expected to happen in the future
  • Blockages and barriers to accessing competent help and assistance
  • Stifled opportunities
  • Uncertainty as future is unknown with Brexit
  • Positive policies (e.g. SG) are not backed up by action

Heaven themes

  • Strong sustainable communities
  • Sustainable and thriving communities with shops, services and strong community heart, having strong links to surrounding environment and agricultural sector
  • Profitable and diverse businesses
  • More community ownership and control of assets
  • Vibrant tourism industry paying more than minimum wage
  • The best broadband in Europe
  • Reduced land and house prices
  • Innovation in development opportunity and ideas for rural communities
  • More jobs in rural areas
  • Sustainable transport in rural areas
  • Artisan products marketed to the world; great food, drink and crafts
  • Wide range of agricultural production with Food security and variety
  • Scotland leads the way in agriculture and rural issues
  • Niche tourism packages for visitors to take advantage of beautiful places and great activities
  • Segregated cycle tracks
  • Battery storage working
  • Scotland’s population growing with under 21s

Policy Framework

  • Rural people leading rural policy decision making
  • Support from SG to help maintain rural heritage
  • Transformation in rural support and services
  • Independent Scotland with EU framework
  • Effective prosecution of wildlife crime
  • Telecare familiar to entire population, with video consultations with GPs
  • Support predicated on outcomes rather than historic entitlement
  • Great support to take advantage of opportunities to become sustainable and income generating funding opportunities
  • Sustain rural areas and communities without the need for funding
  • Support mechanisms are efficient and user friendly
  • No subsidies required; until then subsidies continued or more help available
  • No funding barriers to services

Hell themes

  • No young people
  • Empty rural areas devoid of population
  • Dormitory settlements servicing the cities; rural areas are over developed for housing
  • Cities and urban areas are dominating services
  • Non-rural issues are prioritised and rural investment declines or ceases
  • More bureaucracy to stifle communities
  • No opportunity to innovate
  • No voice for rural communities
  • A Tory Government
  • “Unempathic” decisions are imposed on rural communities
  • Loss of quality in food, drink and crafts lead to isolated lonely people
  • Low employment, poverty due to lack of choice and opportunities
  • Inaccessible countryside due to lack of transport
  • Further concentration of ownership and power
  • Schools, health centers shops and pubs all shut down
  • Fewer farms due to low cost in food supplies
  • High foreign imports leading to no support for farmers and people in rural areas
  • Destitute rural areas
  • Increase and continued barriers to asylum seekers
  • New housing estates flooded
  • Monoculture: GM crops, no wildlife, poor quality environment
  • Increase in carbon in atmosphere due to weak policies by governments world wide
  • Capitalism unrestricted due to voters being pushed by the news media moguls
  • Lack of ability to influence global challenges; Putin, Trump, etc.
  • Country taken our of our hands and low quality and lack of individuality imposed
  • Nuclear explosion
  • Zombie Apocalypse

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

  • Establishing strong sustainable communities
  • Funding support for and control of them by strong rural communities
  • Political commitment to strong communities (as a Good Fortune)
  • Allocation of resources
  • Community Empowerment (as a Good Fortune)
  • Vision / Masterplan
  • Community Consultation
  • Engagement with Community and Stakeholders
  • Political Buy-In

Leading to Hell

  • Scottish Government equates Rural with Agriculture
  • Money has run out to fund any development
  • Nimbyism (not in my backyard)
  • No money for development and innovation
  • Lack of support for community activity
  • Country is bankrupt

Feedback during reporting

  • Strong approval for heaven and route to get there, especially vision and community empowerment