The National Rural Conference 2024

The Rural Services Network (RSN) is thrilled to announce the National Rural Conference 2024, taking place from 16th to 19th September. This virtual event, accessible via Zoom, is the premier gathering for senior officers, members, policymakers, and rural service professionals.
Further information and booking details can be found here

Give Feedback on Rural Business Growth Decision – Making Tool

Economic development and regeneration professionals are encouraged to participate in shaping a new practical analytics platform geared at guiding rural business policy.

The Rural Enterprise Support Analytics (RESA) tool focuses on rates of business start-up, growth and survival to enable local and regional policymakers to better understand and benchmark their area to inform decision-making.

Supported by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the platform enables local/combined authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships to assess the combinations of economic factors which influence these rates, rather than comparing them in isolation.

The team behind RESA at Northumbria University and the National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise at Newcastle University is holding an online session next Wednesday (28 February) at 10-11.30am, to gather feedback on the platform to shape its development before it is rolled out later in the year. Register for the session here.

Gary Bosworth, Professor of Entrepreneurship at Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University, said:

“The platform is based on research which identified external enablers of high performing business populations in rural local authority districts and found, what we all know, that rural areas are quite different from urban areas and each other.

“Our aim is for the tool to help draw out those differences and potential in the rural economy to help tailor support where it is needed most, and we’d urge anyone who would find this information useful to join us and give feedback.”

Derek Egan, Economic and Social Research Analyst at Defra, said:

“This new approach to understanding rural economies can provide locally-specific evidence to inform targeted investments aimed at supporting rural businesses to prosper and we encourage people working in economic regeneration to get involved.”

If you have any queries about the tool or session, please email Gary Bosworth at: 


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