Tourism & Enterprise
  • Broadband & Business Infrastructure
    Earlier this year, Scottish Government announced that it has struck a deal with BT to upgrade a further eight rural telephone exchanges. The exchanges in seven areas - Dumfries and Galloway, Lochaber, Skye and Wester Ross, Argyll and Bute, Moray, Caithness and Sutherland and the Scottish Borders - are currently operating at, or approaching, full capacity for broadband provision. BT is already upgrading 71 similar exchanges across Scotland.
    The Scottish Government also announced that since July 2009, it had been able to include over 300 late registrants into the Broadband Reach Project. The project has now successfully provided over 2400 households and businesses, located throughout Scotland, with a broadband connection to the internet for the first time.

    The Broadband Reach Project has now closed, and no further Scottish Government subsidy for broadband connections is available.

    The Exchange Activate Upgrade Programme is now complete and the Scottish Government provides further details on braodband on their website.

    Broadband was one of the main subjects for discussion at the Tourism and Enterprise meeting in early 2011. The UK Government has recently published its new broadband strategy. The strategy sets out the Government’s vision for broadband in the UK. It also includes details on how Broadband Delivery UK will be investing the £530m secured as part of the Spending Review.

    On October 22 2010 the Scottish Government published A Digital Ambition for Scotland, which summarises the Government's plans and ambitions for the digital economy.

    It was followed by Scotland's Digital Future: A Strategy for Scotland on March 3 2011, which sets out how the Scottish Government will ensure Scotland takes full advantage of digital technology.

    Call for views on Broadband Infrastructure in Scotland

    The Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee has made a call for views in relation to its work on the availability and roll-out of broadband in Scotland.

    The Committee has agreed, as a first step, to undertake a scoping exercise to identify the key issues relating to broadband in Scotland.  The exercise may result in the identification of issues which require immediate action or recommendations.  It may also raise issues that the Committee considers merit further, more detailed examination, which could be taken forward separately as inquiry topics in their own right.

    Scottish Land & Estates are currently collating a response to the call which closes on the 18th of November 2011.  

  • Country Sports
    It is estimated that the annual value of country sports tourism to Scotland is about £240m. In the UK there are over 4 million country sports participants, with many more overseas, including 38 million in the USA. 

    Scottish Land & Estates believes that the Scottish Government and its agencies need to take a number of steps to promote and support well managed field sports enterprises:
    • Increase public awareness of the wide range of conservation benefits gained from active management directly related to shooting, stalking and angling;
    • Acknowledge the economic and environmental importance of field sports in Scotland.
    • Promote game as naturally healthy, organic food products.
    • Provide public funding to complement existing private investment to underpin the demonstrable public benefits from well managed field sports eg improved landscape and biodiversity.
    • Commit to the future of the country sports tourism sector, in all its guises, through public support for product development.

    Wildlife Estates Scotland

    The Scottish Land & Estates launched Wildlife Estates Scotland in late 2010.

    Scottish Country Sports Tourism Group

    To help develop the full potential of this market, 2004 saw the major Scottish country sporting organisations and associations set up the Scottish Country Sports Tourism Group (SCSTG) and a major research project was commissioned with the following objectives:

    • To gather information on country sports tourists - origin, demographics, information and bookings, trip characteristics, product satisfaction
    • To investigate the perceptions and attitudes of intermediaries
    • To identify participation trends at UK and international levels
    • To identify leading destinations and examples of best practice
    • To assess Scotland's strengths and weaknesses as a destination for country sports tourism.

    The Executive Summary of the Report, "The Benefits and Volume and Value of Country Sports Tourism in Scotland" can be found here.

  • Food & Drink
    The food and drink industry is a major contributor to Scotland's economy with one in five people in manufacturing working in the sector. As well as the economy, food impacts on many other aspects of Scottish life including our health and the environment. 

    Scottish Land & Estates is working with the Scottish Government and others to promote the food and drink opportunities for rural businesses through our Rural Enterprise Demo Days and is also promoting the grow your own agenda through its involvement in the national Grow Your Own Working Group.
    Food production is central to our Food and Environmental Security policy for the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)

    In 2009 the Scottish Government produced a National Food and Drink Policy, and in 2010 held a National Food and Drink Conference. The aim of the policy is to is to promote Scotland's sustainable economic growth by ensuring that the Scottish Government's focus in relation to food and drink, and in particular our work with Scotland's food and drink industry, addresses quality, health and wellbeing, and environmental sustainability, recognising the need for access and affordability at the same time. Further details can be found on the Scottish Government website
  • Outdoor Recreation
    Scotland’s world beating rural landscapes and natural heritage has long been a major draw for its own people and for its visitors alike. The activities that take place in Scotland’s great outdoors are varied and plentiful. Activities range from the traditional, such as stalking, shooting and fishing, to quiet pursuits such as hillwalking and nature watching to the newer adrenalin sports such as mountain biking and snowboarding.

    This presents both opportunities and challenges for those who own and manage these special places. 

    Scottish Land & Estates’s policy position is as follows:
    • Scottish Land & Estates works through the Scottish Country Sports Tourism Group to promote traditional sporting pursuits to new audiences.
    • Scottish Land & Estates works in partnership with other relevant organizations and government agencies to find new and innovative solutions for the successful management of competing interests.
    • Scottish Land & Estates promotes and supports the development of new outdoor recreation business opportunities for members.

    Developing outdoor recreation opportunities is a key component of our access work.

  • Planning Policy for Business/ Enterprise

    The planning system has a significant role in supporting sustainable economic growth in rural areas. By taking a positive approach to new development, planning authorities can help to create the right conditions for rural businesses and communities to flourish. The aim should be to enable development in all rural areas which supports prosperous and sustainable communities, whilst protecting and enhancing environmental quality. Development plans should promote economic activity and diversification in all small towns and rural areas. This should include development linked to tourism and farm diversification. At the same time the distinctiveness of rural areas, the services within small towns and the natural and cultural heritage should be protected and enhanced.

  • Renewables
    An excellent wind resource, an abundance of water, powerful coastlines and a wealth of woodland give Scotland an undeniable advantage in becoming the “renewable powerhouse of Europe”.  Many Scottish Land & Estates members already have significant renewable energy interests, while others have developments in the pipeline or are maybe still investigating their potential as renewable energy generators.  

    Targets for the renewables sector

    The Scottish Government has published the 2020 Routemap for Renewable Energy in Scotland.  This is an update and extension to the Renewables Action Plan 2009.  This Routemap reflects the challenge of the new target to meet an equivalent of 100% demand for electricity from renewable energy by 2020, as well as a target of 11% for renewable heat.  

    Policy Positions
    • Scottish Land & Estates encourages members to investigate the potential of installing renewable energy technologies on their land.
    • Scottish Land & Estates believes that it is important that all guidance documents for renewable energy developments are clear to follow and do not place unnecessary burdens on land managers.
    • Grid access is a major concern for many Scottish Land & Estates members due to their often remote rural locations. Scottish Land & Estates is concerned that this lack of access is holding back renewable projects and believes that this situation needs to be urgently addressed.
    • Scottish Land & Estates believes that because renewable energy is still a developing industry it is important that reliable incentives are offered to potential developers.

    Current areas of work

    • Feed-In Tariffs (FITs): Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) are payments to small scale renewable electricity generators (up to 5MW). They were introduced by the UK Government on 1st April 2010 to help meet the target of 15% of total energy coming from renewable sources by 2020. FITs are based on the electricity generated by a renewable energy system and there is an additional bonus for any energy which is exported to the grid.
    • Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI): The RHI scheme provides payments for generating heat from renewable sources.  The scheme is administered by Ofgem from government funds.  The payments last for either 7 or 20 years (Domestic and non-Domestic schemes respectively) and are index-linked for inflation.  Tariffs started in November 2011 for non-residential systems and April 2014 for households.   
    • Hydro Scheme difficulties.  We are working with Energy Minister, Fergus Ewing to address a number of barrier that are making small to medium scale hydro developments particularly problematic to take forward.
    • Community Benefits from Renewables.  We are contributing to Government best practice guidance on community benefits from renewables.


  • Tourism
    The Scottish Government sees tourism as a major growth area for the Scottish Economy in the coming years. Rural Scotland is well placed to take full advantage of this growth. Many landowners and farmers across Scotland have already diversified into tourism and provide first class attractions and accommodation.

    Newer opportunities include the growing international reputation Scotland has as:
    • a wildlife watching and activity holiday destination;
    • culture and heritage tourism destination; and
    • food and drink tourism destination.

    Scottish Land & Estates engages with Government and relevant agencies such as VisitScotland to ensure members tourism interests are recognised and supported. In addition, we make representation to the treasury on issues relating to the taxation treatment of tourism businesses and lobby government to reduce red tape. 

    Scottish Land & Estates’ current work in this area includes:

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