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Scotland Rural Development Programme. First Stage Review.

Research funding body

Scottish Government


P&L Cook and Partners

Project objectives

This is a first stage review of the SRDP with the objective to assess the first year of operation of the 2007 to 2013 SRDP.

Why relevant to improve implementation and uptake of water quality measures

This projects includes an assessment of the barriers to uptake of SRDP measures.


Literature review

Key results

The report recommends:

  • A free facilitation service through the use of ‘case officers’ that would help people fill in application forms.
  • New training schemes for case officers will be required. Training on; the role of the case officer as a facilitator, the application form, scoring, interpretation/eligibility for each option and new areas of expertise in community and rural projects will be of importance.
  • Strengthen the central support team for case officers. This would include a mix of policy, implementation and field staff. The central team would receive queries, form advice from policy and practise, send advice out to all case officers, maintain database of questions and answers, drive update of guidance and issue update memos.
  • A review of the scoring system.
  • Set ceilings for all investment options. For example ceilings at EU De Minimis level of 200,000 euros, but with case officer discretion to recommend higher rate of support where there are big gains.
  • Introduce variable Grant Rates. Current grant rates become maxima and norms, with case officer discretion to recommend variation dependent on need.
  • Publicise annual funding profile and the ongoing financial situation to manage expectations.
  • Monthly, fortnightly or weekly statement of the funds committed versus funds available for the year, seen as essential if the scheme is to allow on-going approval of non-contentious cases. Also essential to manage expectations better in a funds limited scheme (may have helped avoid the submission of failed applications at past rounds).




Peter Cook

Further information (pdf file)



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.