Rural Conference 2017 focuses on New Routes to Economic Growth

THE need to focus attention on rural economies and new routes to economic growth are the key themes of the Rural Conference 2017.

Speakers at the autumn event include David Goodhart, who will examine the way rural communities voted in last year's EU referendum.

Mr Goodhart's book “The Road to Somewhere” was described by broadcaster Andrew Marr as “pitch perfect”.

The book details Mr Goodhart's thoughts behind the reasons for the chasm between progressive and non-progressive society.

    See also: Have your say on rural services

Organised by the Rural Services Network, this year's conference is titled The Infrastructure of Success – New Routes to Rural Economic Growth.

It takes place on 5-6 September at Gloucestershire University's Park campus, Cheltenham.

Other panel speakers include rural animateur Adrian Banford and rural evidence expert Professor John Shepherd, who developed the government's rural-urban definition.

Also speaking are Professor Sally Shortall of Newcastle University; Charlotte Wright, chief executive of Highlands and Islands Enterprise; Bassetlaw District Council rural champion Hazel Brand; and James Derounian of Gloucestershire University.

Rural Services Network assistant chief executive Kerry Booth said the two-day event was particularly appropriate for local authorities – as well as other rural stakeholders

“Local government is at a pivotal point in its evolution," she said.

“It faces significant budget cuts, a changing political landscape and a different approach to its funding.”

The Rural Conference aims to support stakeholders across a range of rural sectors.

The event will be of particular interest to senior officers in finance, community development and rural economic development and senior councillors and officers in rural areas facing challenges related to economic growth.

But it is also aimed at supporting stakeholders across the range of rural sectors, public, private and community.

The two-day event covers issues such as business rates redistribution, rural infrastructure, rural growth and a sustainable approach to rural development.

An early bird booking prices is currently available.

Newly elected councillors can claim a 5% discount on top of the early bird price.

Delegates can book online by clicking here.


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