AN EVIRONMENTAL leader has moved to assure rural businesses they will continue to receive the backing they need to thrive in the wake of Staffordshire’s Rural Hub suspending activities.
Following news the hub had been forced to fold because of a lack of funds, Staffordshire County Council cabinet support member for the environment and rural, Gill Heath, said the new Rural Declaration and Rural Strategy would enable people and businesses to enjoy continued success.
Signed by over 40 organisations and the county council in March the Rural Declaration aims to make better use of resources through closer working, sharing expertise and avoiding duplication as well as addressing issues like connectivity and the impact of development.
Councillor Heath said the Rural Hub had done an excellent job bringing together businesses and helping them overcome problems and achieve success, work that would continue through the Rural Declaration and the Rural Strategy.
“Of course we are sorry to see that the Rural Hub is ceasing its activities, but we must look forward,” she said. “We have over 40 different organisations involved in the declaration which have the same goals and commitments.
“The development of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s Strategic Plan and European Funding Investment Strategy will consider how best to build on the strengths of our rural economy.”
She said the county council was already supporting rural businesses through its superfast broadband commitment, backing the community council’s bulk oil buying scheme, business loans, county farms programme and using rural companies as suppliers.