Rural Powerhouse Update

12 December 2019

In November 2019, the CLA launched a general election campaign calling on politicians from all parties to back its Rural Powerhouse initiative.

We've written to every candidate in every constituency in England and Wales asking them to pledge support for the Rural Powerhouse, which comprises five key themes:

  • A fully connected countryside
  • A planning system designed for rural communities
  • rofitable and sustainable farming
  • Investment in skills and innovation
  • A simpler tax regime

WATCH: You won't believe who supports the #RuralPowerhouse
at Harper Adams University!

CLA Midlands Regional Director Mark Riches said: “The rural economy has immense potential for economic growth and job creation, but we need the right policies to unleash it. If it is allowed to perform to its full potential, we believe the rural economy could contribute an extra £43 billion over and above its already considerable contribution.”

“The Rural Powerhouse is not just a campaign to last for a few weeks, but a strategic approach for the CLA, pulling together what we have always done so well – champion the rural economy in all its diversity.

“In the Midlands we can be particularly proud we have such creative, progressive and entrepreneurial people showcasing the very best the British countryside has to offer. This include from farming and tourism, housing and energy, hi tech and service industries, as well as a food and drink sector that is the envy of the world. Any future MP worth their salt should proudly back this campaign.”

“We want to build productive relationships with MPs from all parties. When supporters of the Rural Powerhouse enter Parliament in December, we will be there to work with them so that they can better address understand the needs of their constituents in rural communities.

“The countryside can provide answers to so many of the issues that concern everyone - from climate change and the environment to the housing crisis.  We are ready and raring to go, and with the right political support we can realise the countryside’s huge economic and social potential.” 

With thanks to the following for their support so far...


Esther McVey
Con, Tatton


Celia Hibbert

Lab, Harborough


Alec Sandiford

LibDem, Stone

Alcotts Weddings
Lucy Poole
Alcotts Weddings

Edward Timpson
Edward Timpson

Con, Eddisbury
Gnosall CFR
Ann & Jan

Gnosall CFRs

Harper Adams Students
Jamie & Fran

Harper Adams University


Heather Kidd

LibDem, Ludlow
Owen Paterson
Owen Paterson
Con, N Shropshire
Philip Dunne
Philip Dunne

Con, Ludlow
Neil Christian
Neil Christian

Con, Macclesfield
Berrys
Vicky Price
Berrys
Merry Christmas
Helen Dale
Good Life Meat Co

Sajid Javid
Sajid Javid
Con, Bromsgrove

Beverley Nielsen
Beverley Nielsen
LibDem, W. Worcestershire

12 December: CLA Rural Powerhouse campaign wins political support

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.

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.”