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Boosting the rural economy post-COVID

Connectivity and skill mix key priorities

May 13th 2021

Tagged: Rurality

By Ailsa Colquhoun

An inquiry is underway to explore how to boost the rural economy in a post-COVID world.

The inquiry, run by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Rural Business and the Rural Powerhouse, will explore why rural productivity is 18 per cent below the national average and identify solutions to help bridge the divide.

Future-proofing the rural workforce is among the questions under consideration, specifically:

  • What are the skills shortages in rural areas?
  • Are there barriers to upskilling in rural areas?
  • How do we encourage people to remain living in rural areas?
  • How can we encourage investment in rural housing and transport?

Other discussion themes include:

  • Connectivity – has the government given up on bridging the digital divide?
  • Planning – is the planning system fit for purpose for economies and communities in rural areas?
  • Land use – how can we better manage the land to meet the demand for environmental & climate delivery and food production?
  • Tax – does the tax system provide benefits or barriers to rural productivity?
  • Government Process – do government structures/mechanisms help or hinder the development of rural policy?

Lord Cameron of Dillington, who is co-chair of the APPG, said: “Levelling up the country is a key part of the Prime Minister’s agenda. It’s important that we hear from those living and working in these rural areas so that we can discover what more can be done to grow the rural economy.”

View the full call for evidence.

Evidence should be submitted by email to 

The closing date is June 30 2021.