Association News

FSB Wales Calls for a Taskforce for Rural Economies

In a new report considering the challenges and opportunities for economic development within Wales’ rural areas, the Federation of Small Business Wales has called for the Welsh Government to develop a Taskforce for Rural Economies 

A Taskforce for Rural Economies makes the case that the rural economy must not simply be considered an agricultural economy. Given the need to diversify the rural economy and create opportunities for new businesses as well as some of the potential challenges posed by Brexit, the report suggests that the Welsh rural economy must in turn change to meet those demands and capitalise on any opportunities.

FSB Wales has also called for the taskforce to consider the institution of a Rural Challenge Fund which would be an open fund designed to attract new ideas and new thinking for economic development in rural areas. The emphasis would be on allowing rural areas to design their own projects and interventions.

Commenting on the report, Janet Jones, FSB Wales Policy Chair, said: 

“As someone who runs a rural business which has itself diversified, I know the importance of diversification and ensuring our rural areas have the widest possible economic mix. It has arguably never been more important for policy makers to understand the need for the “rural-proofing” of Welsh and UK Government policies. This would, we feel, be a key role for a taskforce.

“Rural areas have particular challenges and needs but are significant assets to Wales and if properly supported, present some of the most exciting opportunities for business growth. However, now is the time to marshal thinking and resources to have a distinctive conversation and construct a new ambition for rural Wales”

A Taskforce for Rural Economies is available here: