30/06/2009

Summit Shines Spotlight On Rural Business Success

Business leaders, local authorities, community organisations and economic development agencies from around the country are today meeting in Aylesbury to discuss how inspiration and leadership can help release the potential of rural economies.

The summit, organised by the Commission for Rural Communities (CRC), East of England Development Agency and South East of England Development Agency, will showcase success stories and agree action to help promote the achievements and contribution of rural economies. Delegates will also hear from Rural Affairs Minister, Dan Norris.

It is the second in a series of events following a report last year to the Prime Minister from Dr Stuart Burgess the Chairman of the CRC and the Government's Rural Advocate focusing on releasing the potential of England's rural economies. His recommendations included taking steps to raise the profile of rural economies, for example through rural champions, and encouraging the creation of strong sharing networks to support improvement and efficiency for rural and sub-regional authorities on local economic development. Dr Burgess explains: "There are around 1 million rural businesses in England, employing more than 5 million people and with a combined annual turnover of more than £300 billion.

Today's summit is about how we can work together to raise the profile and aspirations of rural businesses. Inspiration and leadership in our rural economies is even more important at this time, to help lift us out of recession which has taken a strong hold in rural areas.

Dan Norris, Rural Affairs Minister, said: "Lots of rural businesses have real success stories to tell. They are innovative and committed, and contribute hugely to the national economy. The government will continue to support rural businesses and communities through the economic recession, and will ensure that they are able to benefit fully from the help we are making available to them."

(JM/BMcC)

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