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NICRE explores contribution of rural enterprise to Levelling Up

The National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise (NICRE) is leading the rural economy session alongside supporting the National Rural Conference 2021

The session on Tuesday 14 September will explore the contribution rural enterprise can make to Levelling Up as set out by its briefing paper earlier this year. It will also trail further evidence to be published soon and consider the implications for Government and local communities.

Prof Jeremy Phillipson, director of NICRE, said:

“We are delighted to be supporting and contributing to this year’s National Rural Conference which is a major event for those with an interest in rural areas.

“One of our aims is to provide evidence to inform better policy. Our research shows that Levelling Up should include the nation’s rural economies and their contribution to the prosperity of communities and regions.

“While we acknowledge that they are an element of the challenge, rural economies can also be part of the solution for revitalising rural and non-rural areas.

“With such a strong focus politically on Levelling Up, it is a key time for these discussions to bring greater recognition for the potential of rural economies in this debate.”

Speakers at NICRE’s rural economy session are Prof Phillipson, co-director Prof Janet Dwyer and rural economies consultant Roger Turner. Their presentations will consider the rural economic qualities, contributions and opportunities at a strategic level and the evidence on which they are based.

They will also suggest some key steps that Government should take to invest equitably, release rural potential, and spread economic outputs and benefits across the country.

Responses from the Plunkett Foundation, Torridge District Council and Community Action Northumberland on what this agenda means for local economic and community development will follow NICRE’s presentations,

Alongside providing evidence to inform better policy and support for rural businesses, NICRE:

  • Undertakes and commissions new research to fill gaps in current knowledge of rural enterprise and innovation
  • Develops practical solutions with businesses, rural communities and economic development agencies

Highlights of NICRE since it was established in September 2020 with funding by Research England include:

Launching the first major survey of rural and farming businesses to explore the lesser-known area of rural resilience in the wake of COVID-19.


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