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Roadmap for Rural Communities

Volume 738: debated on Monday 16 October 2023

Earlier this year, with the publication of “Unleashing Rural Opportunity”, the Government set out their roadmap for rural communities, including a range of measures across four priorities for rural areas: growing the economy, connectivity, homes energy, and rural communities.

On 1 October, I announced further measures to boost broadband connectivity, transport and the supply of affordable homes in rural areas.

The measures I announced include:

A consultation on reviewing and updating the broadband universal service obligation which already gives homeowners and businesses the legal right to request an affordable, decent broadband connection.

A consultation on further proposals to improve broadband provision for very hard to reach premises, which are unlikely to receive a gigabit-capable connection via either a commercial or Government funded intervention. This will ensure communities with the most limited connectivity experience a step-change in their digital connectivity as soon as possible, fuelling the economy and supporting jobs growth for decades to come.

A statement from Homes England setting out its work to support rural communities and families by enabling the delivery of good quality, affordable homes. The statement includes case studies of successful rural housing schemes currently operating within Cornwall and the Yorkshire Dales.

The publication of “Future of Transport: Helping local authorities to unlock the benefits of technology and innovation in rural transport” to help rural local authorities, their communities, and other stakeholders to harness transport innovation, helping to improve access to services, tackle isolation and increase access to jobs in rural and remote areas.

Whether through improved connectivity, housing or transport we are championing rural communities as we seek to grow our economy, so that every part of our country gets the support and opportunity to thrive.

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