Saturday, 25 July 2015 07:44

Parliamentarians champion rural business

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Parliamentarians champion rural business

A NEW All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) has been launched to champion rural businesses.

There are more than 540,000 rural businesses across England and Wales, all of which contributes over £200 billion to the national economy. 

The cross-party group of MPs will meet with Ministers to discuss a variety of issues, hold evidence sessions and make recommendations on key policy areas, as well as providing MPs with a forum for celebrating rural business in Parliament.

APPG chairman, York Outer MP Julian Sturdy said: "Rural businesses are the lifeblood of our countryside communities and they make a vital contribution to the national economy.

"I am delighted to have been elected Chair of this important new Group and I hope that by working together, members from all parties will champion the cause of rural business.

"We need to have a frank and open discussion about the challenges such countryside organisations face and work towards delivering practical solutions that will improve sustainable growth and opportunities for rural businesses."

The group's vice-chairman is Sue Hayman, MP for Workington. She said: "From farmers to high tech manufacturing firms, from holiday cottages to internet start-ups, all business can be found across our countryside.

"However operating in a rural area brings different challenges and opportunities. That is why I am so pleased to be part of a group that will be focused on understanding those challenges and providing practical solutions."

The Country, Land and Business Association, which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses, will be supporting the group as Secretariat.

CLA president Henry Robinson said: "The CLA is pleased to provide support for the new APPG for Rural Business, and we look forward to working with the MPs and peers who form the group as they champion the businesses that drive the rural economy."

The group will next meet when Parliament reconvenes after the summer recess, and will focus on promoting sustainability in the rural business community.

Key issues for discussion will include how planning policy can deliver growth, what steps can be taken to ensure countryside enterprises have access to the necessary skills, training, and education services - and whether devolution will provide rural communities with greater decision-making powers.

People in this conversation

Leave your comments

0 / 500 Character restriction
Your text should be in between 10-500 characters
terms and condition.

Our Events

Our Events
For Rural Services Network events and notable dates, click here.