The Warwickshire Rural Hub – working together for the future

An account of a rural business-led group who develop initiatives to secure a sound commercial future for agriculture and the rural economy.

Year of Publication2005

The Warwickshire Rural Hub is a group started for farmers by farmers and rural businesses. Since it got off the ground in autumn 2003 more than 1,000 people have attended its events on subjects including waste management, hemp, rural tourism, equestrian enterprises, information technology and bio-energy. It has also helped the development of a major food distribution project, The Green Grocer. There are nine specialist groups tasked with developing areas as diverse as rural tourism and bio-fuels, IT and farm waste. The Hub has received support from several organisations including the RASE and the members of the Rural Forum for Coventry, Solihull & Warwickshire which provided a co-ordinator and helped with the appointment of a facilitator for Defra’s Rural Enterprise Scheme. She has helped rural businesses to gain more than £1.7 million of support for their projects. Funding from the Coventry & Warwickshire Learning & Skills Council has paid for Hub events and best practice visits, and covered the cost of research to enable the Hub to better understand the learning needs of its members. An important function of the Hub is to ensure that rural voices are heard by the key agencies involved in rural development.

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