Facilitating local resilience: case studies of place-based approaches in rural Scotland

Jayne Glass*, Jane Atterton, CM Maynard, MC Craigie, SJ Jones, Mags Currie, Annabel Pinker, Annie J McKee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/Report/Policy Brief/Technical BriefResearch reportpeer-review

372 Downloads (Pure)


What were we trying to find out?

This report explores the extent to which place-based approaches can deliver positive economic and social outcomes in Scotland’s rural areas and small towns.

What did we do?

We studied five case studies of place-based approaches in rural Scotland:

1. Tackling the climate emergency in Callander
2. Strengthening Communities in the Western Isles
3. A Heart for Duns: the changing role of a local development trust
4. Partnership working for place-based policy: lessons from Initiative at the Edge
5. Land reform policy and transformational community change

What did we learn?

Place-based approaches in rural Scotland have enabled community capacity building, community ownership/management of land and assets, and partnership-working to deliver local outcomes and services. A flexible national and regional place-based policy framework can be supportive of local place-based approaches, but should acknowledge different local circumstances, assets and needs, and the lived experiences of local people.

What needs to change in the future?

Place-based approaches require financial and other development support/advice in the early stages. This might be particularly in relation to locally-led community planning to address place-based needs, acquiring local community assets and creating links between local actors and broader regional/national policy processes. More flexible place-based policy frameworks should be developed at national and regional level which facilitate cross-sectoral working, break down silos and encourage collaboration between different actors and governance levels (including communities and local authorities).

What do we recommend?

The research identifies four recommendations to enhance rural place-based approaches:

1. Long-term, flexible investment in place-based approaches is needed to ensure the delivery of solutions rooted in community needs and local action.
2. Communities need to be able to operate with a degree of autonomy to increase competence, capacity and confidence at the local level.
3. This local autonomy needs support from national/regional levels over the long-term, by transferring resources, ensuring that the voices and experiences of communities are heard, and working in (equal) partnership across governance levels.
4. There is a need for mechanisms by which the key features and requirements of national and regional policy are translated into something tangible and relevant at the local level.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages83
Publication statusPrint publication - Nov 2021


  • place-based policy
  • place-based approach
  • resilience
  • community
  • climate change
  • Local (economic, social, environmental) development
  • local business
  • local development
  • Bottom-up processes
  • rural policy
  • partnership working


Dive into the research topics of 'Facilitating local resilience: case studies of place-based approaches in rural Scotland'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this