02 August 2023

Rural firms invited to join ‘Beacon’ network to inform policy

North East forum

Rural businesses in the North East are being invited to join a network which aims to help inform future enterprise policy and support.

The National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise’s (NICRE) Rural Business Beacons is a forum to gather insights from firms and channel their voice to policymakers.

The views and experiences of rural businesses gathered via the network will also help to shape NICRE’s research to make it more relevant.

Harness and share views

Melanie Thompson-Glen, business development manager at NICRE, which is led by Newcastle University and partners, said: “We know this is an extremely tough time for all businesses with many of the challenges associated with rising running costs exacerbated for those based in rural areas.

“Our Rural Business Beacons network is not designed to place additional demands on firms when they’re already flat-out however, provide a forum to harness their views and share these directly with those making policy.

“We are often approached by national Government departments and parliamentary groups for evidence on what is happening on the ground and by joining our Beacons forum, businesses will be able to play a part in shaping future policy.”

Alongside opportunities to provide evidence to inform policymakers, Rural Business Beacons will also have the chance to showcase their business through NICRE’s innovation portal and communications and marketing activities.

Beacons will be invited to two half-day networking events per year – with the first one planned for early 2024 – and receive a regular NICRE newsletter.