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

Proposals unveiled for positive change in the rural economy

A series of policy recommendations to advocate for positive change in the rural economy, has been published by the Centre for Rural Economy (CRE) at Newcastle University.

To mark three decades of supporting sustainable development in rural areas, CRE has published ‘Rural Policy Revisited’ which brings together a collection of policy notes grounded in research and practical innovation across the North East and beyond.

The publication covers a variety of topics important to the future of the rural economy, including communities, business and enterprise, and land management, and reflects CRE’s understanding of how its many components are interconnected.

Professor Guy Garrod, Director of CRE, said:

“Despite their many strengths and innovative possibilities, rural areas in the UK face a range of seemingly intractable, inter-related and long-standing challenges.

“Rural disadvantage continues, the deep-rooted problems of rural poverty and the provision of affordable rural homes remain, and rural digital connectivity is a major concern. Policy and development responses to these challenges need to be sensitive to the highly-differentiated circumstances of rural places in order to meet their needs, but also to nurture their many contributions to resilience, prosperity and wellbeing.

“Our experiences convince us that a bright future is possible for rural areas, underpinned by the green economy, interlinking climate, agriculture, and rural communities, to deliver thriving rural places. We remain deeply committed to knowledge exchange between stakeholders, industry, researchers, and policy makers and believe that positive change to the rural economy can be achieved if there is a strong and sustained policy commitment to the goals identified in this report.”

The report draws on interdisciplinary social science and applied policy research to put forward key policy message on contemporary areas including Levelling Up, changing working patterns, the future of land use and the transition in agriculture.

The publication follows a celebration at Alnwick Castle hosted by His Grace the Duke of Northumberland earlier this year which showcased CRE’s current research and discussed some of the challenges that may face rural areas over the next 30 years. A set of eight policy briefs have also been published to mark the anniversary.

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