“Unlocking Growth in Rural Areas” – Rural Housing Week 2023

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“Unlocking Growth in Rural Areas” – Rural Housing Week 2023

Just last month the government produced a document entitled ‘Unleashing Rural Opportunity”. A publication detailing how the government plans to “support growth and prosperity in rural areas”. 

The document explains how they are launching this new initiative based on four broad priorities that are important for rural areas to prosper:

  • Growing the Rural Economy
  • Connectivity
  • Homes and Energy
  • Communities

The government are:

  • Investing £110 million through the Rural England Prosperity Fund. CFO looked into this earlier this week: “Investing in Rural Communities” – Rural Housing Week 2023 | Community First Oxfordshire (communityfirstoxon.org)
  • Supporting the development of rural skills including through Skills Bootcamps, sector-based Work Academy Programmes and our £1.5 million Forestry Training Fund. At Spring Budget 2023, a
    further investment of £34 million in financial year 2024-25 was announced meaning more adults will be able to get the skills they need.
  • Providing funding to Public Practice, a not for profit company which supports the development of placemaking leadership capability, to expand their associate programme to support more
    local authorities.
  • Investing £3.2 billion a year across the UK (£2.4 billion in England) into the farming sector through
    schemes that support sustainable and productive farm businesses to produce the food we need and
    improve the state of nature.
  • Building on our recent Farm to Fork summit by helping our farmers and food producers in rural communities to capitalise on the enormous global demand for British food and drink through our export support packages, investment in global trade shows and support for key exporting sectors.
  • Providing over £50 million funding for our Farming in Protected Landscapes programme and extending it with additional funding until March 2025 to enable farmers in National Parks and Areas
    of Outstanding Natural Beauty to deliver more projects that promote nature and make the landscape more inclusive for visitors. This is in addition to the current 15% increase in funding to Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and £4.4million one off increase we provided to National Parks last year.
  • Working with businesses and the British Tourist Authority to showcase our inspiring rural landmarks, countryside, market towns, villages and dramatic coastline, growing the economy, reducing the travel industry’s impact on the natural and built environment and working with local tourism businesses and
    communities to help them thrive.
  • Making sure that rural communities have the right childcare provision to support hard-working parents and care givers. This includes investing £289 million in a new childcare ‘pathfinder’ scheme to help deliver wraparound childcare before and after school. We will discuss with rural local authorities to better understand how they support wraparound and meet their sufficiency duty.
  • Increasing our funding for bursaries for 16-19s by 10% for the 2023-24 academic year, benefiting those who travel furthest to college each day.

To get more information and read the full policy paper, please click the link below:

Unleashing rural opportunity – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

It is so important to support our rural areas and keep them thriving., this is surely a step in the right direction.

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