Our plan for Scotland: supporting remote and rural communities

Nicola Sturgeon has set out the Scottish Government’s plans for the next year.

Here’s just some of the action the SNP Scottish Government is taking to support Scotland’s remote and rural communities.


  • We’re committed to delivering superfast broadband to 100 per cent of premises by 2021, bringing our rural and remote communities closer to the markets they need.

  • We will increase the NHS revenue budget by almost £2 billion in total over the life of this term of parliament, with more health care delivered in the community.

  • We will maintain the existing air discount scheme at 50 per cent, and, later this year, we’ll publish a new study which looks at potential arrangements to reduce fares on ferry services to the Northern Isles.

  • We will continue to invest in new ferries and in improving ferry facilities, including those at Brodick due for completion in summer 2017. And we’ll continue work to deploy saltirecards on Clyde and Hebrides ferry routes too

  • The £25 million Rural Housing Fund is supporting the building of new homes and refurbishment of existing properties in rural areas. And, 100 affordable homes will be delivered in island communities through a new £5 million fund too.

  • We will bring forward an Islands Bill to reflect the unique needs of these communities and implement our ten-point manifesto for our islands.
  • Over half a million acres of land are now under community ownership – and we’ll continue to work towards our target of reaching one million acres by 2020, supported by the £10 million Scottish Land Fund.

  • We will also consult on proposals for a register of controlling interests, which will increase transparency for those who live and work on our land and end the scandal of anonymous and unaccountable land ownership.

  • We will deliver the Scottish Rural Development Programme to support the rural economy, rural communities, address the impact of climate change, protect the natural environment, and help respond to the uncertainty caused by Brexit too.

  • By spring 2017 we’ll set out how an investment of £5 million will support island and regional food and drink.

  • From autumn 2016 through to spring 2017 we will hold a series of summits with key sectors to explore how best to deliver sustainable growth and jobs in rural and island communities.

  • We will develop a Scottish Rural Infrastructure Plan in 2017 to better coordinate investment in the rural economy.

  • We will oversee the transfer of Crown Estate management, assets and revenues to Scottish control, maximising economic opportunities in our coastal and rural communities.

  • We’ll work to ensure that Scottish quota is retained by active Scottish fishermen through a new UK Fisheries Concordat.

  • We’ll be working to deliver Scotland’s first ever flood risk strategies and management plans for rivers.

  • We will implement the Agricultural Holding provisions in the Land Reform Act to create a thriving tenanted sector.

  • We will introduce a Wild Fisheries Bill to underpin new management structures and put in place the foundations for a more secure and sustainable future for wild fisheries.

If you want to keep up to date with our support for rural Scotland, sign up to our rural group here.