When polls close, votes counted, what next for Scotland's rural businesses?

23 June 2016

When polls close, votes counted, what next for Scotland's rural businesses?

UK law firm, Shepherd and Wedderburn is to once again play a leading role in the Royal Highland Show, Scotland’s largest outdoor event, which returns to Ingliston, on the outskirts of Edinburgh, from 23 to 26 June.

A premier fixture in Scotland’s farming calendar and in the diary of Shepherd and Wedderburn’s rural real estate specialists, the show, which attracted a record number of more than 188,000 visitors last year, will feature up to 5,000 head of livestock, live bands and stalls. Outside of the exhibition halls and livestock rings, visitors can enjoy a wide range of competitive and display events, including international sheep shearing, show jumping, driving, tug-of-war, dog obedience trials, falconry, farriery and other rural pursuits. 

The show is not only of significant economic value to the area, but also an important forum for discussion of key political issues affecting the rural and farming community. As solicitors to the Royal Highland & Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS), Shepherd and Wedderburn, together with accountancy firm, Greaves West & Ayre, will host a breakfast seminar at the show.

The seminar takes place in the President’s Pavilion, the morning after the EU referendum. Following a welcome speech from Sandy Wilkie, RHASS Vice President and Sales & Marketing Director at Müller Wiseman Dairies, the ins and outs of the referendum result will be top of the agenda.

With over 15 years of experience in political and media relations in Scotland and across the UK, guest speaker, Andy MacIver from Message Matters will discuss the outcome of the referendum vote. As a regular contributor on TV and in newspapers, commentating and analysing the political circumstances of the day, Andy is well placed to comment not only on what it means for the rural community, but also for politics in England and the subsequent effect on Scottish politics.

Greaves West & Ayre Partner, Andrew Ayre, who is a member of the ICAEW and the Chair of the tax and technical committee for the Farm and Rural Business Group, will provide some much needed positivity for the sectors with his presentation, “Reasons to be cheerful in farming”. 

Concluding the morning’s presentations, Shepherd and Wedderburn Partner, Colin Innes, who has substantial experience in advising private and public sector clients on planning matters, will speak about the planning policy for the support of rural diversification and the challenges that presents for cultural and natural heritage interests, drawing on T in the Park as an example of how natural heritage interests can be overcome.

Seminar participants will have the opportunity to interrogate the panel of expert speakers during a Q&A session, which will be chaired by Peter Misselbrook, Shepherd and Wedderburn’s Head of Rural Property and Business.

Peter, who is a highly experienced real estate lawyer with particular expertise in the rural, agricultural and farming sector, commented: “Our seminar takes place at a challenging time for the rural community, not least because of the uncertainty surrounding the outcome of the EU referendum. I and other members of the team look forward to hearing the opinions of our guest speakers and sharing our insights with the audience.”

Shepherd and Wedderburn will also sponsor the World of Fishing Demonstrations at this year’s Scottish Game Fair, which takes place at Scone Palace on 1-3 July.

Colin Innes ,