The role of the land-based sector within local economies is often claimed to be significant, yet it is unclear from the existing evidence how important farming, forestry and estates are as contributors, or catalysts, to rural wealth creation and employment. Alongside this, there is a lack of detailed evidence about rural businesses operating across Scotland’s rural areas relating to: the diversity and range of businesses; operating turnover; employees; planned investment; debt and credit terms given; business confidence and expectations – particularly in-light of Brexit.

The Rural Report 2018/19 is the second out of three survey based annual reports, focussing on the wider rural business base, providing evidence to help fill the knowledge gaps beyond farming, forestry and rural estate sectors. The 2018/19 report surveyed 1,203 businesses in Aberdeenshire, Dumfries & Galloway, the Scottish Borders and Tayside. The findings from our ongoing research make a significant contribution to improving our understanding of Scotland’s rural business base, at a time when rural economies are receiving considerable policy attention (for example through the recent work of the National Council of Rural Advisers).links of businesses to the land based sector

The survey found that 65% of businesses had links to the land-based sector (see figure), with the most common being as the supplier of goods and services.


To download and read the full report, please click here.

To view the questionnaire used in this Rural Business Survey, click here.

Rural Report 2017/18

The first rural business survey was published in October 2018, and surveyed 1,500 businesses in Aberdeenshire, Dumfries & Galloway, the Scottish Borders and Tayside. More information on the first report can be viewed here. The full report can be downloaded here, as well as a series of infographics on the first Rural Report.