The Government has committed to an ambitious levelling up agenda, promising to bring growth and economic opportunity to all parts of the country. However, there is a concern that this agenda becomes overly focused on urban agglomeration and industrial growth, and thus fails to deliver for those who do not live in large cities. With 70 per cent of the UK’s land and around a fifth of its population living in rural areas, the question remains: how can the levelling up agenda better represent these places, and ensure that the rural economy better delivers opportunity and prosperity for different parts of the UK?
This private roundtable considered how the rural economy can be better served by – and contribute to – the levelling up agenda. Participants focused on the necessities for growth in rural places, and what companies and communities need from policymakers to succeed. This included discussions on digital connectivity, physical infrastructure, boosting economic growth, social capital and how best to ensure a rural policy agenda is represented across government departments.
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