Scottish Land & Estates were Helping It Happen in Westminster

Scottish Land & Estates has showcased how land-based businesses are Helping it Happen in an event at Westminster.

Attended by politicians from across Scotland, the discussions highlighted how the rural sector was leading the charge in creating employment and housing, engaging with communities, embracing innovation and supporting wildlife and conservation in our countryside.

Orkney and Shetland MP Alistair Carmichael with Sarah-Jane Laing

Discussions with MPs and peers were held against the backdrop of the uncertainty faced by the sector due to Brexit.
Sarah-Jane Laing, executive director at Scottish Land & Estates, said: ‘Our Helping it Happen campaign tells the story of some of the most forward-thinking businesses in rural Scotland that are helping to deliver prosperity to not only their local areas but also nationally.

‘We appreciated the positive engagement and understanding of the contribution of rural businesses by MPs from all parties. Brexit will bring a huge shift in how the landscape is managed and this will impact on many of these businesses and the investment decisions they take over the next decade.

Scottish Land and Estate chairman David Johnstone, right, with Falkirk MP John McNally

‘There are challenges and opportunities ahead but it is important that our elected representatives understand how the decisions they are currently taking will affect the lives of people in our countryside in decades to come.

‘Rural enterprise is one of the bedrocks of the Scottish economy and it is important that we fly the flag for our land-based businesses as Brexit approaches in order that they are best placed to face challenges, take advantage of opportunities and remain equipped to deliver the important social, economic and environmental outcomes expected by the public.’

The event was held in conjunction with the CLA, which represents owners of land, property and business in rural England and Wales.

Scottish Land & Estate policy officer Anne Gray with MP for East Lothian Martin Whitfield

Among those in attendance was Scottish Labour MP for East Lothian, Martin Whitfield MP.

Mr Whitfield said: ‘Land-based businesses are a crucial part of the local economy in East Lothian. They create and support employment, help to manage and shape the environment and provide welcome social and leisure opportunities for local people.

‘I was interested to hear more from the sector’s representatives about how rural businesses are seizing new opportunities to create jobs and work positively with local communities.’

Visit to learn more about Scottish Land & Estates’ Helping it Happen initiative.