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£2.9 million for 1,100 new jobs and rural growth announced

Agriculture Minister Jim Paice (left) with Huntsman George Adams Photo: Fabio de Paola/PA Archive/Press Association Images

More than 1,100 jobs are expected to be created in Devon and Somerset following a £2.9 million Government investment that will boost the region’s rural economy by £58 million, Farming Minister, Jim Paice announced on his Rural Roadshow to the region today.

Devon and Somerset is one of five regions to benefit from a Rural Growth Network, set up to help rural areas overcome the barriers to economic growth, such as a shortage of business premises and poor broadband access.

Mr Paice announced the Rural Growth Network funding on his Rural Roadshow to Devon. The Roadshow is set to allow the Minister to hear first-hand about rural issues from communities and businesses, to learn about successes and challenges, and to discover what help is needed to support rural growth and jobs.

The Devon and Somerset Rural Growth Network is expected to support over 400 businesses. Entrepreneurs will have high quality new work space to start up their companies and over 1,100 jobs will be created as local businesses get the support they need to grow.

There are particular challenges to running a business in a remote area. Too often, problems like a shortage of work premises or the need to travel to a city for training are preventing entrepreneurs from realising their ambitions. The Rural Growth Network will take down these barriers to growth and create new business opportunities.

I’ve heard about some really innovative work to create new jobs and sustainable growth in Devon and I’ve come on a Rural Roadshow to find out more. I will listen to advice from local businesses and communities about the kinds of steps that the Government should take as part of our drive to unlock the economic potential of rural areas and support thriving rural communities.

– Jim Paice, Farming Minister

The Rural Growth Network will give family businesses in Devon and Somerset exclusive access to world-class training from the International Institute for Management Development (IMD), ranked third in the world’s top business schools by the Financial Times. The programme, led by IMD in conjunction with the University of Exeter and Clinton Devon Estates, will be launched later this year.

During today's Rural Roadshow, Mr Paice will visit

  • 9am: Bicton EarthCentre
  • 09.45am: Clinton DevonEstates
  • 10.50am: Bicton Arena
  • 11.55am: Tour and filming of Otter Brewery
  • 12.30pm: Interviews at Otter Brewery, Luppitt