Rural Services Network Achievements 2023 - 2024

As the leading advocate for rural services, we've been dedicated to ensuring that rural areas are empowered with a strong voice, effectively leveraging this influence for substantial progress this year.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank our valued members for their unwavering engagement and support. Your dedication to sharing best practices and collaborating with us has been pivotal in our mission to secure a fairer deal for rural communities.

Together, we have amplified the rural voice, ensuring that the unique challenges and opportunities of rural areas are addressed. This collaboration forms the foundation of our collective success.

Download our 2023/2024 achievements here

We would also like to thank our Executive Board for their significant contributions towards our achievements. You can find out more about our Executive Board here.

The following is a summary of our achievements in 2023/2024
Representing our Membership nationally
  • We launched the Winning the Rural Vote campaign in parliament, mapping out our asks of all political parties ahead of the general election.
  • We’ve supported the All Party Parliamentary Group on Rural Services with three meetings this year discussing Off Gas Grid Rural Properties, Rural Transport and Rural Fair Funding.
  • We saw the Rural Services Delivery Grant increased by £15 Million to £110 Million. In total £ 799,000,005.94 has been allocated through this grant since its inception in 2013/14. That’s almost £800 Million! We continue to campaign to see the principle extended to all rural authorities and for fairer funding formulas.
  • We represent our members on a number of forums and wider groups, namely; The Rural Coalition, National Centre for Rural Health and Care, National Rural Crime Network, Rural Homelessness Coalition, National Alliance for Cultural Services and the DEFRA Rural Impact Forum.
  • We’ve submitted responded to ten Government Consultations to ensure that the rural perspective to these key issues is shared.
  • We’ve worked with partners to commission research which we have shared with the press and parliamentarians into Rural Homelessness and Rural Cost of Living.  We also helped to circulate a planning questionnaire on behalf of research into the effectiveness of Rural exception Sites.
Our Services to you
  • This year we hosted the National Rural Conference over the course of 4 days, with 496 delegates from across our membership attending to discuss a wide range of topics affecting rural communities.  Speakers included Lord Benyon, representatives from National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise (NICRE).  Many member organisations of RSN shared best practice and experience at key issues affecting rural communities.
  • We’ve hosted 8 networking seminars throughout the year with expert speakers attended by 531 delegates from across our membership.
  • We hosted an invite only event for our member local authorities that receive Rural England Prosperity Fund Grant allocations to meet with DEFRA and discuss challenges they are experiencing with the current scheme and ways that it could work better.
  • We hosted an event during Countryside COP week exploring Heat Network Schemes in rural areas.
  • We’ve delivered the Rural Bulletin to over 20,000 contacts each week with a roundup of key rural news stories.
  • We’ve published 12 Funding Digest newsletters highlighting many funding and grant opportunities relevant to rural communities.
  • We’ve published 4 Rural Beacon publications, direct to Councillors at our Local Authority members sharing with them our work.
  • We’ve published 12 spotlight publications focusing on the Rural Economy Rural Housing and our Rural Services Partnership members.
  • We’ve delivered a monthly casebook publication service for members of the Rural Health and Care Alliance.
  • We’ve reviewed Government Strategies and White Papers through a ‘rural lens’ to determine the real impact for rural.
  • We provide analysis of a range of information for our membership organisations in our Members Insights section of our website.  The analysis is available at local authority level and provides a range of statistics that impacts rural authorities in all key areas.

Looking ahead, we remain committed to strengthening our partnerships and intensifying our campaign efforts to champion the needs of our rural communities. Our resolve to ensure that our voices are not just heard, but acted upon, has never been stronger.

With the upcoming general election, we seize this pivotal moment to advance our Winning The Rural Vote campaign, advocating to ensure that rural communities are not overlooked. Together, we will continue to drive meaningful change, ensuring that our collective voice is brought to the forefront of national attention.

Thank you for being an integral part of this mission and for your unwavering dedication to improving the lives of those in rural areas.


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