The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) is writing to every Parliamentary candidate in every constituency in England and Wales to galvanise widespread support for the Rural Powerhouse initiative.
The Rural Powerhouse is a campaign to unleash the potential of the rural economy. It aims to close the rural productivity gap, adding £43bn to UK GVA per year, while transforming the lives of millions of people who live and work in the countryside.
Incoming president of the CLA Mark Bridgeman said: “The rural economy has immense potential for economic growth and job creation, but we need the right policies to unleash it. It is 18 percent less productive than its urban counterpart, but realising this untapped potential could add £43bn extra each year to the economy in England alone, on top of the £250bn it already does.
“The Rural Powerhouse campaign is rooted in the belief that the countryside has an exciting future and we all have a role in shaping it. Any future MP worth their salt should proudly back the campaign.”
Mr Bridgeman said 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,” he said. “At a time when political tensions are high, we are standing up proudly to say that we believe in the potential of the rural economy, and we are here to champion it.
“All MPs should know, as we do, that the countryside can provide answers to so many of the issues that concern ordinary people – from climate change and the environment to the housing crisis. We are ready and raring to go – and with the right political support we can realise the countryside’s huge economic and social potential.”