Second Briefing Paper
The paper, which was produced with contributions and support from other researchers and rural institutions, builds on NICRE’s What is the contribution of rural enterprise to Levelling Up (March 2021) and how can this be further enabled? which was published earlier this year. It is intended to inform the Government of the need to recognise or harness rural economies’ extensive and diverse contributions, tackle rural challenges and release rural potential.
Prof Jeremy Phillipson, director of NICRE, said: "Rural economies need to be more central to the Levelling Up agenda. The design of new policies and programmes should equitably embrace rural challenges, contributions and potentials.
"Healthier rural economies can provide wider contributions to prosperity in many regions, urban centres, economies and communities. To turn this potential into reality, the Government needs to invest in and support rural areas, sectors and enterprise, not focus only on competitive cities or towns.
"We hope this Briefing Paper can help the UK Government in developing and demonstrating rurally equitable Levelling Up policies, programmes and funds.
"Building capacity within rural businesses and communities will be vital to improving their awareness and ability to develop, apply for and manage the public investments that will come with the Levelling Up agenda. Here we see a case for new funds to support rural-urban and cross-boundary inter-dependencies and reviving rural Local Action Groups such as those that operated under the Rural Development Programme for England."