CLA Rural Powerhouse campaign wins political support

12 December 2019

The CLA’s Rural Powerhouse campaign has been backed by over 100 Parliamentary candidates at this year’s General Election.

The campaign, launched in November, saw the CLA write to candidates across England and Wales asking them to help ‘unleash the potential of the rural economy’ by backing a series of policy measures designed to improve productivity.

Signatories include many candidates expected to enter Parliament for the first time, as well as EFRA Select Committee Chairman Neil Parish, former DEFRA Secretary Owen Paterson, former Lib Dem leader Tim Farron, Shadow DEFRA secretary Sue Hayman, and former cabinet ministers Stephen Crabb and Alun Cairns.

Mark Bridgeman, President of the CLA said:

“It is clear we will have a significant caucus of MPs backing the Rural Powerhouse in Parliament, whatever the overall result.  It should give us some confidence not just that MPs want to support rural communities but that they have tremendous ambition for the rural economy.”

The CLA’s Rural Powerhouse campaign will now turn its attention to promoting its policies in Parliament and Government.  CLA research showed that by focusing on improving productivity the rural economy could grow by as much as £43bn.

The Rural Powerhouse campaign focuses on 5 key themes.

  1. A fully connected countryside
  2. A planning system designed for rural communities
  3. Profitable and sustainable farming
  4. Investment in skills and innovation
  5. A simpler tax regime

Mr Bridgeman added:

“We know that, in one way or another, there will continue to be a degree of uncertainty through 2020.  But we are determined to ensure we are promoting positive ideas that will allow us to unleash the potential of the rural economy for the betterment of communities across the country.”