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The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on the Rural Powerhouse recently published a report on rural productivity which concluded that no recent government has published a program to unlock the economic and social potential of the countryside. As a result, the rural economy is 18% less productive than the national average. It is estimated that if this gap were to be reduced, it could add up to £43bn to the UK economy. The report suggests that policy reforms in planning, farming, connectivity, infrastructure, skills and tax could all help to boost rural productivity.

‘Rural Powerhouse: How can the Conservatives grow the rural economy?’ was a ConservativeHome Live event in partnership with the Country Land & Business Association (CLA). The CLA is the membership organisation for owners of land, property and businesses in rural England and Wales; and seeks to champion, protect and enhance the rural economy, environment and way of life. This event explored the current challenges and limitations on rural productivity and growth; and the opportunities that could arise from levelling up the rural economy.

Speakers:

Julian Sturdy MP, Chair of APPG for Rural Business and the Rural Powerhouse

Jonathan Roberts, Director of External Affairs, CLA

Selaine Saxby MP, Member of Parliament for North Devon

Paul Goodman, Editor, ConservativeHome (Chair)