A Brechin businessman is set to represent Angus at the gathering of the European Rural Parliament later this week.
Bill Sturrock - a member of the Brechin and Area Partnership as well as the LEADER Local Action Group (LAG) - will travel to Sweden for the event which takes place from May 27 to May 29.
The trip to Gotland, Sweden’s largest island, for the event is certain to be invaluable to Bill as he is helping to develop Brechin’s hosting of the Scottish Rural Parliament in the autumn.
A spokesperson for the LAG, a rural development programme aimed at improving the quality of life and prosperity in rural communities through locally driven initiatives and projects, said: “Angus LEADER is delighted to have Bill representing us at the European Rural Parliament in Sweden, thanks to funding from the Scottish Government’s rural network support unit.
“The European Rural Parliament focuses on international ideas in rural development and democratisation. These issues have a totally different slant in Sweden – and delegates from around Europe will be keen to share and contrast their experience. It is a great learning and sharing opportunity for Angus.”
The Swedish Rural Parliament is one of Europe’s largest gatherings for rural development. The theme of 2016 - Towards a balanced country – looks at the challenges of educating people about rural development issues and how to create a balanced country.
It will include field trips to examples of local development in Gotland, taking in food production, broadband fibre extension, tourism, fishing industry, integration, and culture. There will also be panel discussions, exhibitions.
Brechin hosts the Scottish Rural Parliament from October 6 to 8. It meets every two years and brings together 400 participants from across rural Scotland, as well as international guests.
The three-day event includes visits to local projects, workshops, exhibitions and high-profile speakers.
Keen to make the Parliament a success and help strengthen the voice of Scotland’s rural communities, Angus Council wrote the successful bid to host the Scottish Rural Parliament and is sponsoring the national event.