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Place-based policy and implications for policy and service delivery

Berneray, Scotland © Ruth Wilson

Researchers from the James Hutton Institute and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) are involved in work on place-based policy in rural Scotland, as part of the Strategic Research Programme (2016-21) funded by the Rural & Environment Science & Analytical Services Division of the Scottish Government. The project is led by Jane Atterton (SRUC: Rural Policy Centre), and the wider project team includes Jane’s colleagues Rob McMorran and Elliot Meador, and Jonathan Hopkins, Ruth Wilson, Andrew Copus and Mags Currie in the Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences Group of the James Hutton Institute.

The aim of this project is to analyse the differences in socio-economic characteristics and outcomes in rural areas and towns in Scotland, and assess why these occur; and to investigate the role of place-based policies in delivering benefits for different areas.

This page contains links to reports and outputs produced by staff at The James Hutton Institute, or which include Hutton authors: additional information and outputs are available at the project page on the Rural Policy Centre website. If you would like any further information on the outputs below, please contact the relevant authors.


Please note that the 'download' links below will download the .pdf files from the SRUC website, unless otherwise noted.

  • Currie, M. (2017) Implications for rural areas of the Christie Commission’s report on the future delivery of public services. download
  • Copus, A. (2018) Inter-dependencies between Rural Areas, Small Towns and Urban Areas: What could be the Benefits to Rural Areas from Scotland’s City Region Deals? download
  • Hopkins, J. and Copus, A. (2018) Definitions, measurement approaches and typologies of rural areas and small towns: a review. download
  • Hopkins, J. and Copus, A. (2018) Identifying suitable measures of socio-economic outcomes and mapping geographical disparities in Scotland. download
  • Research note: Hopkins, J. and Copus, A. (2018) Can we measure wellbeing at the community scale? Identifying indicators for Scotland. download
  • Hopkins, J., Copus, A., Wilson, R., Atterton, J. (2018) What is place-based rural policy and what evidence base does it need? Research and knowledge exchange activities. download (from James Hutton Institute)
  • Hopkins, J., Wilson, R., Atterton, J., Copus, A. (2019) Stakeholder views on the small area-level evidence base for place-based policy in Scotland. download (from James Hutton Institute)


Mapping indicators of population change in Scotland (2011-19)

A series of six maps have been produced as part of Islands Revival: Exploring the Potential for Repopulation, a project funded by the Scottish Environment, Food and Agriculture Research Institutes (SEFARI) Responsive Opportunity Fund, led by Ruth Wilson and Andrew Copus. This work also contributes to our existing research on demographic change in remote areas and place-based policy and implications for policy and service delivery (RD3.4.1 and RD3.4.2 within the 2016-21 RESAS Strategic Research Programme).
The maps show six indicators of demographic change across Scotland, four of which show small area (Data Zone) mapping using the most recent population data available at this level (2011-17), and two maps show patterns of change in proxy indicators: primary school rolls (2011-18), and GP practice lists (2011-19).

The maps are included in a short note (which also describes the data sources and analysis used, guidance on interpretation, and acknowledgements), and as image files in a zip folder. The maps of schools and GP practices are at a high resolution, due to the large number of data points shown - it is recommended that users download the images and zoom in and pan around these maps to see the detail.

  • Note download (from James Hutton Institute)
  • Map images (.zip folder) download (from James Hutton Institute)
Project Information
Project Type: 
Active Project


Areas of Interest

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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.