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Rural Areas: Business

Volume 470: debated on Thursday 24 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps her Department is taking to promote rural towns as desirable places to set up and expand businesses. (181160)

The Government’s review of sub-national economic development and regeneration (known as the SNR), published in July 2007, set out policies designed to enable all places, including rural towns, to reach their economic potential.

Regional development agencies lead work to drive economic development in the regions. However, under the proposals set out in the SNR, local authorities will play an increasingly important role in driving forward economic development and will develop and deliver the regional strategy alongside the RDAs. The SNR also proposed a new economic appraisal duty for local authorities, which would require each upper tier local authority to assess the economic circumstances and challenges in its area. The Government will be consulting on these proposals shortly.