The government has set out its plans to support rural businesses and rural communities through the launch of Rural Proofing in England 2020: Delivering policy in a rural context
The CLA has long called for more strategic thinking from government in supporting the rural economy, something which fits in with the Prime Minister’s agenda for ‘levelling up’ every part of the UK.
The report includes a commitment to rolling out gigabit broadband; using additional police resources to tackle rural crime; investing in the bus network to improve infrequent or non-existent services in the countryside; combining strong employment growth with high employment standards; and ensuring that British farmers are able to profit by producing food for the nation.
CLA President Mark Bridgeman said:
“With the rural economy 16% less productive than the national average, there is no doubt that the countryside is being held back. So we welcome this report, which shows Government is beginning to recognise the potential we have to boost national GDP.
“But no single government department has all the levers at its disposal to level up the countryside, and there is always a sense that government departments aren’t coordinated sufficiently. Government must be more ambitious for the rural economy, and put forward a coherent cross-departmental strategy with a laser-like focus on boosting productivity, growing the economy, creating jobs and building stronger communities across rural Britain.”
Read the report in full here