Newcastle University Business School

Event Item

Where does rural fit in an Industrial Strategy?

Lunch followed by a workshop investigating: what should be contained in an industrial strategy, fit for the rural economy.

Date/Time: Friday 16th June, 12:30 – 15:30

Venue: Partners' Room 8.10, Newcastle University Business School

As part of the 15th Rural Entrepreneurship Conference, we are organising a workshop that aims to explore where rural economies should fit within industrial strategies. The workshop will comprise of policy-makers, rural businesses, rural support practitioners and academics.

In the 130 pages of the Industrial Strategy Green Paper, 'rural' is mentioned 11 times: 4 times regarding rural broadband, 3 times connected to the rural digital economy and 4 times in relation to wages and productivity. Whilst the ninth pillar of the green paper refers to “Driving growth across the whole country” the strategy is focused on specific sectors of the economy.

There is a danger that without a coherent, place based, argument being made in favour of industrial strategies for the rural economy, the default is to assume an agricultural and hospitality specialisation that ignores the vibrant and multi-sectoral contemporary rural business landscape. These businesses are often more profitable and innovative than their urban counterparts, they also face different barriers, such as access to markets and finance, business premises and the ability to attract and maintain a skilled workforce. This workshop aims to investigate what should be contained in an industrial strategy fit for the rural economy.

Following lunch and an opportunity to network with delegates from the Rural Entrepreneurship Conference, the workshop is divided into two parts. The first will be a short overview of the Industrial Strategy Green paper and the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, this will be followed by a panel discussion Chaired by Roger Turner (Centre for Rural Enterprise Fellow) with an invited group of experts in this area. There will then be a series of parallel round table discussions on specific aspects of the industrial strategy.

Registration and a networking lunch are from 12:30 – 13:15, the workshop runs from 13:15 to 15:30.