THE RURAL Youth Project – and the marketing company behind it – have been shortlisted for prestigious national awards.

Founded in early 2018, the RYP is an international grassroots movement for positive change to empower young people – 18 to 28 years of age – to develop their leadership, enterprise and activism skills, to play an integral part in making rural places attractive and viable for young people to build their lives and their futures there.

The RYP has been shortlisted in the Best Rural Social Enterprise, Charity or Community Project section of the 2020/2021 Rural Business Awards, while Jane Craigie Marketing is in the running for the Best Rural Professional Services Award.

Established 16 years ago, JCM delivers marketing and communications services in the agricultural, food and rural environment landscape, supporting a wide range of clients such as ABP, BASF, LANTRA, LEAF Open Farm Sunday, the Oxford Farming Conference, Quality Meat Scotland, SAC Consulting, the Scottish Agricultural Monitor Farm Programme and Turriff Show.

Managing director Jane Craigie said: “We are a core team of seven communications professionals spread across Scotland and we are all deeply embedded in the rural economy, both professionally and personally, so we’re thrilled to be shortlisted for the Rural Business Awards.

“Our team believes in the fundamental importance of our rural places and farming’s role within our landscape," she continued. "Our mission is to make rural communities better connected and understood, and to do what we can to build the rural economy for the long term.”

Co-founder and director of the Rural Youth Project, Rebecca Dawes, said: “After what has been a difficult year for all, it’s been a real morale boost for the Rural Youth Project community to know that we are in the running for this prestigious award.

“Young people are the thread binding together rural communities. Being shortlisted for the Rural Business Awards is a fantastic opportunity to highlight the challenges and opportunities that young people face living rurally, and to acknowledge their vital contribution to our rural economies, communities and policies.”

The Rural Business Awards will be hosting an online National Final on Thursday February 25, 2021.