Rural Powerhouse Campaign
The Rural Powerhouse campaign is the CLA’s answer to narrowing the rural to urban productivity gap. The campaign was launched in the lead up to the 2019 general election, when the CLA recognised that productivity in rural areas had fallen nationally to 16% below urban areas. If this rural productivity could be raised on par with urban productivity, it could provide a £43bn boost every year to the rural economy, increasing the success of rural businesses and benefiting the lives of millions of people who live and work in rural areas.
Businesses in the countryside encompass an extremely diverse range of industries. However, the CLA highlighted several key constraints which must be addressed to tackle the issue of rural productivity. That is why the CLA’s Rural Powerhouse initiative looks to achieve the following five objectives:
- A fully connected countryside
- A planning system designed for rural communities
- Profitable and sustainable farming
- Investment in skills and innovation
- A simpler tax regime
The CLA has lobbied extensively with MPs across the country to ensure the five objectives of the initiative are achieved and widespread support for the Rural Powerhouse campaign is accomplished. According to Mark Bridgeman, the CLA Deputy President, “The Rural Powerhouse is not just a campaign to last for a few weeks, with a few glossy pamphlets and press releases. It is a new approach for the Country Land and Business Association’.
By: Michael Sills