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New portal launched for rural and islands communities

21 November 2022

New portal launched for rural and islands communities

A new Rural Exchange portal has been launched to give a voice to people living and working in rural and island areas.

Funded by the Scottish Government through its Strategic Research Programme, it was developed and launched by Scotland’s Rural College on 8 November at an event in Birnam.

It is a user-led platform where community members can input their lived experiences of policies and services, as well as their ideas for improvement, which will be reviewed and collated by researchers.

The platform has been designed to better align research into rural and island Scotland with the realities of community experiences, giving people a direct link to contribute to data collection, research processes and policy development.

The site will also host polls on a range of topical issues related to rural and island economies and communities, and invite information, ideas and opinions from people living and working in these areas.

The first poll asks people how the cost of living crisis has impacted them, their families and local businesses in the food they buy and cook, how they heat their homes, and the way they travel to work or to access services.

Future polls aim to explore issues such as local democracy, business support for SMEs in rural and island communities and transport infrastructure.

People can engage with the Rural Exchange by sharing information, ideas, opinions or issues or taking part in short, themed polls which will include a mix of closed and open questions.

For more information or to take part in a poll, visit: