Scottish Land & Estates Conference, Assembly Rooms, George Street, Edinburgh

Date: 29/05/2018

We urge all members to purchase their tickets early to avoid disappointment given that last year’s conference sold out well in advance!

Brexit and beyond: the future for Scottish rural businesses

9am – Registration and Trade Stand Exhibition Opens
9am-10am – Business Breakfast Reception Sponsored by EQ Chartered Accountants
10 am – Conference Commences
11.00-11.20 – Refreshments, Networking, Exhibitor Engagement
12.30-13.30pm – Lunch, Networking, Exhibitor Engagement
15.40pm Conference Concludes
15.50 – 16.50pm – Networking Drinks, Exhibitor Engagement

Rural Scotland stands at a crossroads. Brexit represents a pivotal moment that will have long-lasting consequences for rural policy and for rural businesses and communities. There is so much that remains unknown with key decisions and negotiations yet to happen. There is the issue of how, in the context of devolution, agricultural and rural policy will operate in the UK once we leave the EU. There is the issue of trade arrangements and what they will mean for food imports and exports and consequently for the profitability for many Scottish businesses. There is the unknown shape of farming and rural policy and financial support in Scotland in future. So much is up for grabs.

All this uncertainty creates difficulties for land-based businesses. Yet at the same time, there are some things that seem more likely than not. It seems likely that the Scottish Government will retain as much control over farming, forestry and rural policy as it has at present. It seems likely that support to farming businesses will change with many expecting, at best, a gradual decline in levels of financial support. And it seems likely that the rationale for support will change; there is a growing emphasis on delivering better outcomes for the provision of public money. So there do appear to be signals of possible ways forward, and business owners still need to make decisions and attempt to plan for the future, regardless of the uncertainty.

The Scottish Land & Estates’ 2018 conference will provide an opportunity to reflect on what the future might hold for rural businesses in this context. Speakers, who will include high-profile politicians, policy decision-makers and Scottish landowners, will, in a mixture of talks and discussion:

• provide an insight into the future of the rural economy

• identify areas of potential investment

• highlight examples of businesses that have overcome challenges or taken innovative approaches to improve business growth or resilience

• explore the implications of Brexit for rural businesses.

Our keynote speeches will be provided by Lord Duncan of Springbank, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Scotland Office, and Fergus Ewing MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity.

Draft Agenda is available here…

Conference Costs:
£65+VAT members
£150+VAT non membes
£50+ VAT students

For further information and to book tickets online click here…

0131 653 5400 by 9 May 2018