The key themes for the Scottish Rural Parliament 2016, which is taking place in Brechin in October, have been announced.
The themes, which reflect the issues tackled in its manifesto for rural Scotland published last week, are: business; broadband and mobile phone signal; communities and civil society; democracy and governance; depopulation and demographic changes; education; energy; environment; food health, social care and wellbeing; housing and planning; land; poverty and inequalities; rural policing; tourism; town and village regeneration; young people; and transport.
The themes will be explored in detail at the Scottish Rural Parliament, which is to be held at Brechin Community Campus from October 6 to 8.
It is anticipated that more than 400 people will gather in Brechin for the three-day event, which will develop and agree an action plan for rural Scotland, as well as celebrating the strengths and achievements of rural communities.
Chairwoman of Scottish Rural Action, Amanda Burgauer, said: “The key themes for the event reflect the issues of greatest importance to rural communities, identified following extensive engagement with communities all across rural Scotland.
“At the Rural Parliament we will be exploring these in more detail but also examining other issues, such as the possible impact of leaving the EU on our rural communities.”
Confirmed speakers include Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity Fergus Ewing, Lesley Riddoch, Callum Kerr MP, and representatives of Transport Scotland and Digital Scotland. The event is open to the public and free for most people to attend and Angus organisations to hold an exhibition stand or fringe workshop.
Scottish Rural Action have opened voting for the Rural Innovators Award 2016, which has an Angus category.
The awards seek to recognise and showcase some of the most innovative and effective ways in which rural challenges can be addressed.
It will be awarded to a project, person or organisation that is improving life in rural communities by tackling one of the priority challenges.
The award categories are as follows: young people, housing, climate change, health and social care, business, community councils and Angus.
Those nominated in the Angus category are: Angus Farmers Market; Ogilvy Spirits, The Food Life and DD8 Music.
Scottish Rural Action national coordinator Emma Cooper said: “We are very excited to be able to start accepting votes for the Rural Innovators Awards.
“Some incredible and inspiring projects were nominated for the awards in this category and shortlisting was a challenging task.
“We would encourage people to have a look at the shortlisted projects on our website and choose the project they find most innovative and inspiring. The awards will be presented at the Scottish Rural Parliament in Brechin.”
Voting closes at midnight on the on Sunday (September 18).
Winners will receive a paid-for place at the Scottish Rural Parliament 2016.
Members of the public can vote at www.scottishruralparliament.org.uk/get-involved/ria-2015-16/
The manifesto can be read online at www.scottishruralparliament.org.uk/manifesto