Northumberland Tories want rural areas to have a strong voice

Councillor Peter Jackson
Councillor Peter Jackson

Northumberland County Council is spearheading a new initiative to ensure rural areas have a voice in the UK’s economic future.

The local authority, in collaboration with the Institute of Local Governance (ILG), is starting a ‘wide-ranging conversation’ to help shape emerging policy at local and national levels.

Council leader Peter Jackson said: “There is often a lack of recognition of the significant contribution that rural areas make to local economies.

“But with the UK poised to leave the European Union and the emerging Industrial Strategy committing to drive growth across the whole country, there is a unique opportunity to redress the balance and showcase the value of rural areas.

“I have been talking to our Government to further rural development in our county and the prospect of a North of Tyne devolution deal and a Borderlands growth deal are two examples where we can ensure rural voices are heard.”

The initiative is getting under way at Hexham Mart where around 40 stakeholders will meet to begin the discussion.

The outcomes from this will inform a six-month policy research commission by the ILG.