MP Sir Geoffrey Cox urges PM to support rural economy

Sir Geoffrey Cox, MP for Torridge and West Devon, has, along with more than 30 other MPs and peers, written to the Prime Minister asking him to present a new White Paper to promote the growth of the rural economy, following publication of a major new report by a multi-stakeholder group.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Rural Business and the Rural Powerhouse released a report last week outlining how £43billion could be added to the UK economy. The report, titled ‘Leveling up the rural economy’, sets out 27 measures to unlock the economic potential of the countryside, adding up to £43billion to the GVA.

Now MPs and peers are calling on the Prime Minister to lead a whole-of-government effort to unlock business potential in rural communities.

Sir Geoffrey said: “I want the government to be ambitious for the rural economy. I want to see Torridge and West Devon prosper. I want it to be a place where people can afford to live, get a good job, and achieve their aspirations. New investments are coming to the South West, but the growth of our region could be accelerated if the specific needs of rural communities are fully taken into account in the development of national policies and if the potential of rural businesses is unleashed.

“85% of rural businesses are not engaged in agriculture or forestry, and they often face structural barriers to success. Given that 23% of all businesses in England are based in the countryside (and many more in the other three UK countries), removing these barriers could generate considerable economic growth, for the benefit of their local communities. and the country. in its entirety.”

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