LEP asserts its commitment to investment in rural areas
Today’s Yorkshire Post article levied criticism towards the UK’s 38 LEPS, stating that rural economies are often left behind when it comes to investment. Research from the Campaign to Protect Rural England, slammed inequalities in regions and within the article, went so far as to state that there were ‘no examples of good practice’ of rural investment in Yorkshire.
The York, North Yorkshire and East Riding LEP, strongly asserts its commitment to rural investment and development, and has issued the following statement in response to the article.
‘York, North Yorkshire and East Riding LEP have the rural communities they serve at the heart of their decision making, as laid out by the Chair, David Kerfoot, in his introductory article for the Yorkshire Post, when he took up the position in January 2018, “I am incredibly passionate about rural areas and the critical role they play both in hosting world class business, but also in supporting city areas to prosper. Rurality and all that entails is key to our continued success.”
With Brexit signalling un-paralleled changes for agricultural business and the new Local Industrial Strategy directing growth, the YNYER LEP is poised to take advantage of the opportunities that are present in rural areas. Alongside a current call out to fund projects that help to build Agri-Business Skills, the LEP have put out the second largest amount of funding for food processing businesses in the country. They are pro-actively working with the National Farmers Union and Country Landowners Association to establish a trailblazing project help farmers deal with Brexit related subsidy changes. And it’s not just a focus on farming, the LEP also recognise that it is vital to support small and micro-businesses in rural areas, and have been applauded by the Federation of Small Businesses for their work in rural based small businesses.
David Kerfoot, Chair of the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding LEP says, “Whilst many LEPs may have a focus on cities, as the largest rural LEP, our focus is firmly on our agenda to build recognition of the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding areas as a rural power house. We are absolutely committed to working alongside our key rural stakeholders, to take advantage of new opportunities and thrive as a result of change.
With every type of farming from arable to upland, global innovation assets and great agricultural colleges, we well placed to adapt and work with government to make sure farmers and rural communities are able to boost their long term sustainability.”‘