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Flag of Scotland.svg
Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Tourism of Scottish Government
Scottish Government Logo.svg
Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity, Fergus Ewing.png
Incumbent
Fergus Ewing MSP

sinceĀ 18 May 2016
Style Cabinet Secretary
Rural Economy Secretary (within Scotland)
Scottish Rural Economy Secretary (outwith Scotland)
Appointer First Minister
Inaugural holder Ross Finnie
Minister for Rural Affairs
Formation May 1999

The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Tourism is a position in the Scottish Government Cabinet. The Cabinet Secretary is responsible for rural Scotland, tourism, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, aquaculture, food and drink, and crofting. The Cabinet Secretary was assisted by the Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform until 2016, when that role was given its own Cabinet level post. The Cabinet Secretary is assisted by the Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment, who also reports to the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform.

The current Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Tourism is Fergus Ewing, who was appointed in May 2016.

Overview

Responsibilities

The Cabinet Secretary's responsibilities are agriculture and crofting, fisheries and aquaculture, food and drink, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, South of Scotland Enterprise, rural Scotland, forestry, animal health, and tourism.

Public bodies

The following public bodies report to the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Tourism:

  • Crofting Commission
  • Food Standards Scotland
  • Highlands and Islands Enterprise
  • James Hutton Institute
  • Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland
  • Moredun Research Institute
  • Quality Meat Scotland
  • Scottish Agricultural Wages Board
  • Scottish Land Commission
  • VisitScotland

History

The position was created in 1999 as the Minister for Rural Affairs and renamed as the Minister for Rural Development in 2000 and again in 2001 as the Minister for the Environment and Rural Development. Following the 2007 election, the position of Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment was created, becoming the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and Environment in a November 2014 reshuffle. Following the 2016 election, the position was the "Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity", but was again renamed to "Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy", with "connectivity" and Transport passing to the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity.

List of office holders

Minister for Rural Affairs

Name Portrait Entered office Left office Party First Minister
Ross Finnie Ross Finnie.jpg 19 May 1999 26 October 2000 Liberal Democrats Donald Dewar
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