A key feature of the new SRDP; Rural Development Contracts - Rural Priorities is a commitment to deliver national objectives through local solutions. Regional Priorities are a crucial tool in achieving this.
The RPAC established for each region is responsible for devising and updating the Regional Priorities in their area.
On the following pages you will find a list of national priorities accompanied by regional examples set out across three broad axes:
- Business Viability and Competitiveness
- Rural Communities
Use these documents in considering your application, to inform your decision regarding which activities you wish to undertake and to identify which priority these relate to.
The following nine theme headings will help direct you to the relevant areas:
These priorities focus on improving business practices including; production, distribution, meeting standards, market expansion, education/training and quality. There are also options relating specifically to New Entrants and Organics.
These priorities focus on halting the loss of biodiversity and reversal of previous losses through management, conservation and enhancement.
Protection of rare/endangered species, reducing threat from non-native/invasive species, achieving 'favourable condition' on SSSIs and increase in area of connected natural habitats are all encouraged.
These priorities focus generally on enhancements of the rural landscape which will have a positive impact on people's environment. The importance of Scotland's woods and forests is also highlighted.
These priorities focus on the conservation and enhancement of the historic environment by increasing the number and range of vernacular rural buildings and sites of archaeological or historic interest that we protect, enhance and actively manage.
These priorities focus on the improvement of habitats/water quality through various means. Reduction of diffuse pollution, flood protection, protection against risk of erosion and actions within Nitrate Vulnerable Zones, Bathing Water Catchments, shellfish growing areas and Drinking Water Protected Areas are all identified.
These priorities focus on reducing emissions of greenhouse gasses, improving efficiency of practices and better management of current climate change actions.
These priorities focus on public access provision with a particular emphasis on creation, improvement and promotion through various means.
These priorities focus on the improvement of rural enterprise through diversification. Innovation, Strengthened links between primary producers and other sectors, improved environmental performance, career development opportunities and maximisation of tourism are all highlighted.
These priorities focus on empowering and encouraging rural communities to take a positive role in addressing the issues which affect them. Support for community led initiatives, improvement of skills, knowledge and capacity as well as access to sustainable rural buildings are all highlighted.