This report from the Commission for Rural Communities sets out findings from research which looked for signs of growth and barriers to growth that need to be tackled.
The report concludes that there is a clear message that for most rural areas economic recovery is underway. The evidence to support this includes falling numbers of Job Seekers Allowance claimants, increased numbers of rural authorities with more claimants leaving than registering for JSA, rising levels of business confidence and also new enterprise start-up rates.
Clear priorities for action at a national and local level include the need for better and faster broadband and communications infrastructure, skills gaps and access to training, access to business support and the need for a better response from the land use planning system to business expansion needs.
The report notes that there is a risk that some local authorities and their partners could be neglecting important features of their rural economies. These include their high levels of self employment, the importance of Home Based Businesses, the importance of large firms in rural areas and also the large proportions of so called ‘economically inactive residents.
RECOVERY AND GROWTH IN RURAL ENGLAND is available from the CRC. http://ruralcommunities.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/recoveryandgrowth.pdf