New CLA President takes office

Victoria Vyvyan outlines priorities including championing the next generation and taking the Rural Powerhouse campaign to the next level

The new President of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), Victoria Vyvyan, has vowed to champion the next generation, celebrate the regions and take the Rural Powerhouse campaign to the next level during her two-year tenure.

Victoria, who succeeds Cotswolds farmer Mark Tufnell as the 56th president in the Association’s 116-year history, has outlined the priorities that will be at the heart of her presidency:

  • Ensuring political parties develop robust and ambitious policies to grow the rural economy.
  • Supporting the next generation of rural businesses to succeed and thrive, from funding to skills provision.
  • Recognising and celebrating the regional differences that make the rural economy so vibrant and diverse, and ensuring their voices are heard.

Victoria said: “I want every landowner, every farmer, every rural entrepreneur to know that the CLA is on their side. As President, I will be unrelenting in pursuit of an environment that allows our businesses, our landscapes and our way of life to thrive.

“This is a crucial time for farming and the rural economy, and the unique role that the CLA plays has never been more important.

“Environmental Land Management schemes are being rolled out, BPS is being cut, rural communities are being hit hard by the cost of living crisis, and persistently low economic productivity is hampering our businesses and workers.

“Yet farmers, landowners and rural businesses are dynamic and forward-thinking, helping to feed the nation, create jobs, build homes, fight climate change and look after the environment. With the right support and ambition the full potential of the countryside can be unlocked.

“I aim to work with the whole CLA team across England and Wales to make sure that our members' interests are fairly represented in the run-up to the General Election and under the next government, whatever its colour.”

Victoria’s priorities tie in with the CLA’s Rural Powerhouse campaign, which highlights how the rural economy is 19% less productive than the national average. By closing this productivity gap, we could add £43bn to the national GDP.

Diversified family business

Victoria’s home is Trelowarren, on the Lizard peninsula in Cornwall, a diversified rural family business with a strong ecological focus.

The business includes some tenanted and some in-hand agricultural land, a lowland heath restoration project, woodland managed in-hand for quality timber and for bio-mass production, a tourism business, a new restaurant and off-site building projects.

Gavin Lane is appointed CLA Deputy President, while Joe Evans becomes Vice President.