Championing rural young people.

The Rural Youth Project Smart Village is a collaboration between young people, Smart Village Scotland and The Rural Youth Project.

It is the product of extensive research, input and feedback directly from young people living and working in rural areas.

It will continue to be crewed by a team of young people long into the future.

Find out more about the project partners here:

Delivered by

Our Partners:

  • Rural Youth Project

    RYP is an international grassroots movement for positive change. Our mission is to empower young people to develop their leadership, enterprise & activism skills, to play an integral part in making rural places attractive and viable for young people to build their lives and their futures therein.

  • Smart Village Scotland

    Smart Village Scotland is a network of connected Smart Villages, as well as an exciting economic and community development project. The network stretches across Scotland, with Smart Villages in development from Aberdeenshire and the Highlands, to Stirlingshire via Perth & Kinross.

  • Leader

    LEADER is a bottom-up method of delivering support to communities for rural development. Grants are awarded by Local Action Groups to projects that support delivery of a Local Development Strategy. The aim of LEADER is to increase support to local rural community and business networks to build knowledge and skills and encourage innovation and cooperation in order to tackle local development objectives.

How did the project come about?

In a word, coronavirus. Many projects and opportunities have ground to a halt since March 2020, but the pandemic actually gave life to this new platform.

Up to 2020 the Rural Youth Project ran the Ideas Festival, workshops and other activities for young people*. These initiatives were put on hold, so a new concept was needed to benefit young people in rural places. The answer, like the funding, came from Europe. Smart Villages make an economic impact by supporting enterprises and connected communities. They are a catalyst for lasting change.

*Funded by the LEADER programme 2014 – 2020 - The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe Investing in Rural Areas.

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