Action Plan

Smart Villages Action Plan is a Digital Scotland Action Plan initiative to bring the latest digital capabilities to Scotland’s rural communities.

Scotland’s rural communities face a devastating future.

As the Scotsman reported in 2018 Scotland’s rural communities face losing up to a third of their working age population by 2046, losing more than a quarter of their population within the next thirty years, with Western Isles, Argyll and the Southern Uplands among the worst affected.

Unlocking the £2.5 billion digital potential of Scotland’s rural communities

Our Smart Village platform is intended as a solution to address and reverse this trend.

It’s a land mass that accounts for 98% of the country and over 20% of it’s small businesses. There are 343,535 SMEs operating in Scotland, providing an estimated 1.2 million jobs. SMEs accounted for 99.3% of all private sector businesses in 2018, accounting for 54.9% of private sector employment and 41.5% of private sector turnover.

Digital Economy Infrastructure

We’re bringing the Cloud to Scotland’s rural small businesses to empower them with state of the art e-commerce capabilities, so that they can digitize their business models and participate more effectively in the online economy.

Policy Action – Best practices community provides an online knowledge sharing community for Scotland’s rural innovators. Our platform is designed around a number of leading expert academic and policy recommendations:

  • A New Blueprint for Scotland’s Rural Economy – The National Council of Rural Advisors published a report for parliament advising on an overall economic framework for rural development. Smart Villages offers a vehicle for actioning these recommendations. This proposes a rural implementation of the Scottish Government’s National Performance Framework.
  • Unlocking the £2.5 billion digital potential of Scotland’s rural communities –Scotland’s Rural College reports that £2.5 billion in economic growth could be unlocked if rural communities take a number of key digital enablement actions. Smart Villages provide the tools to directly implement them.
  • Regional Inclusive Growth – Research from CommonSpace identified the need for a bottom up approach to local Economic Development. Smart Villages provide a platform for this approach.
  • Enabling Local People to Lead – The Scottish Community Alliance describes a vision for empowered, self-reliant local communities, a vision that Smart Villages provides the platform for enabling.

Regional Action Plans

We deliver Smart Village sites as part of an overall Regional Action Plan for each cluster of local communities.

Each plan is developed via a Collaborative Group Document, and assembles a tailored configuration of Best Practices in response to the specific needs of that region.

As Hollyrood Magazine reports they recently begun an initiative for the town to pioneer being the first ‘Digital Improvement District’.

Our Smart Village for the town will demonstrate how the combination presents the ideal blueprint for digitally empowering Scotland’s small and rural towns, and via our Cloud platform is ready to achieve the nationwide replication they describe.