The House of Commons Library recently published a report to inform Westminster Hall debate held on 1 February.
The report highlighted that rural and coastal constituencies tend to have different types of businesses to those elsewhere. Professional, scientific and technical businesses make up about 14% of all businesses in the UK, but slightly less than 10% of businesses in predominantly rural and coastal constituencies. Almost 70% of all professional, scientific and technical businesses are located in inland urban constituencies.
The House of Commons report also stated the Government’s Levelling Up the United Kingdom white paper which said seaside towns are among those areas with the “highest levels of community need and poor opportunities for the people who grow up there”, while rural areas can be low in “connectivity, skills and productive capital”.
This disparity has not gone unnoticed by the Rural Services Network. We have commissioned research to look in depth at the need for levelling up in rural areas. Findings show that were England’s rural communities a distinct region, their need for Levelling Up would be greater than that of any other part of the country. Lamentably, current government metrics don’t capture rural disadvantage adequately and as such funding is not flowing to rural areas as it should. To find out more read the RSN Levelling Up Analysis here.
MPs during the Westminster Hall noted the enormous potential for job creation in rural and coastal communities but recognised that obstacles needed to be overcome for them to realise their full potential. To read the debate click here.
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