About the RSP

The Rural Services Partnership (RSP) is a long-standing not-for-profit membership company Limited by Guarantee. The RSP is a component of the Rural Services Network (RSN).  The RSP is the non-local government part of the RSN and works predominately with both the private and third sector service providers in rural England.
Working closely with the RSN’s local authority members, the RSP is the only national champion for rural services in England.  The RSP works for the benefit of all rural sectors through a membership organisation which lobbies and advocates on behalf of rural service providers. The RSP lobbies for a fair deal for rural communities to maintain and enhance their social and economic wellbeing and viability.
The RSP provides a suite of services for its members to exchange information, learn from best practice, lobby government and much more. 

The services include:

Rural Officer Service

We can provide a one-stop-shop for rural services through our extensive network of rural service providers and our lobbying and campaigning expertise.

The Rural Services Website

A comprehensive information service including rural news stories, rural statistics at a Local Authority level, updates on Rural campaigns and much more...

Each member has a dedicated place on the website that highlights their approach and best experience in relation to the delivery of rural services in England.

An RSP members page (click here)

An RSP Promoting Rural Best Practice page  (click here)

Each member is given an RSP logo to promote the fact they are an active member of the RSP.

A Rural Bulletin

The weekly bulletin covers topical issues affecting rural England, including: health, transport, youth, older people, housing and economy. The Bulletin reaches over 25,000 recipients each week, including over 140 local authorities.

There is also an opportunity to include a feature about your organisation in the topical publication the Rural Spotlight, which has a weekly focus on current rural topics. The Spotlight could reach as many as 25,000 people per week. 

Rural National Campaigning 

To campaign for better rural services through the 66 strong cross-party member group from both Houses, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Rural Services. This service will provide an opportunity to influence both regional and central government policy impacting on rural areas.

Rural Topics

Through a series of topical sub groups, rural issues are considered in more detail and their outcomes help to inform the provision of better rural services, in particular for vulnerable groups.

  • Rural Housing (The Rural Housing Alliance)
  • Rural Health (The Rural Services Network Health Group and representation at the National Centre for Rural Health & Care)
  • Rural Vulnerability Group (RSN Social Care and Health Group)
  • Rural Economy Group (RSN Rural Economy Group)
  • Rural policing through representation on the National Rural Crime Network

Rural Conference

England’s only annual Rural Conference focusing on rural services which provides a forum to discuss topical issues affecting rural communities, businesses and service providers. A chance to network, benefit from best practice and learn from experts and likeminded community activists on how to address vulnerability issues in rural England.  Conference fees are reduced for RSP members.

Rural Regional Seminars

Six seminars are held each year throughout England, the subject areas vary according to the current topics that members wish to debate.

We are working with professional bodies to seek Continuing Professional Development (CPD) accreditation for those who attend the Rural Seminars.

A Rural Funding Digest

A monthly round up of grant and funding opportunities for rural organisations.

The State of Rural Services Report

A biennial report prepared by Rural England, Community Interest Company. The report presents the most recent evidence and trends regarding the provision of services in rural England.  It covers nine service areas, which are: local buses and community transport, welfare services, access to cash, further education, the retail sector, mental health services, older people’s services, public health services and community assets. The next report will be published in 2019.

The Rural Observatory

The Observatory opens the window to a statistical review of rural life. It provides an analysis and commentary on the key services provisions and issues affecting rural communities utilising publicly available statistics. A very useful source of data to inform funding bids and lobbying campaigns.

Rural Sounding Boards and Calls for Evidence

To gauge opinions on rural issues and working from case studies, best practice and experience providing a consensus, a ‘rural voice’, which can lobby and inform much needed rural research. We currently have Sounding Boards for:

  • Rural Councillors and Parish Councils
  • Young People
  • Rural Small Businesses

Rural Services Partnership Annual Meeting in London

The annual meeting will work to key rural policy documents including the State of Rural Services Reports, Rural Development Strategies and Government draft policies. Furthermore, you will also be able to attend the Rural Assembly meetings, alongside colleagues from local government, to share best practice and to network with likeminded organisations.  The Rural Assembly meetings take place twice a year in London.


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