The Government's Rural Advocate has revealed that rural communities could contribute an additional £250 billion to the national economy if they had access to broadband internet connections and affordable housing.
Two years ago the Commission for Rural Communities (CRC) estimated that the untapped potential from rural business was between £236 billion and £347 billion per annum against an actual contribution of approximately £150 billion.
After a lyear spent consulting rural entrepreneurs and businesses across England the CRC has outlined its proposals to unlock rural potential.
Dr Stuart Burgess, Chairman of the CRC and the Government's Rural Advocate said "More of the potential of our local rural economies can and should be realised. Following this Government's emergency budget it is clearer than ever that helping the release of this potential must be a big part of the next stage of our national economic growth."
Dr Burgess said that more than anything else, rural areas where crying out for broadband to kick-start their businesses. "The rural community needs to be economically viable and broadband is essential for farmers, young people and businesses."