Rural Enterprise Group
The Rural Enterprise Group (REG) was established as a sub-group of the Dorset LEP to identify and encourage the growth of private enterprise and prospects for jobs in the rural areas of the county. These rural jobs are acknowledged as making a significant economic contribution in specific localities and to Dorset as a whole. The membership of the REG includes a wide representation of rural organisations in Dorset including the private sector, education, government agencies, the Dorset Local Nature Partnership (DLNP), the Local Action Groups (LAGs) and local authorities.
The Dorset Rural Enterprise Group is responsible for:
- Maintaining and delivering the Dorset Rural Enterprise Priorities Paper;
- Aspiring to increase the economic productivity and wage levels in rural Dorset, closing the gap on Dorset’s urban areas as well as the national average;
- Informing the EAFRD (European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development) element of Dorset’s ESIF (European Structural and Investment Funds) Growth Programme;
- Championing Dorset’s LEADER programmes;
- Supporting the Dorset LEP to fully engage with its rural stakeholders;
- ‘Rural-proofing’ all Dorset LEP policies and activities; and
- Represent Dorset LEP at Defra round tables and other related meetings.
Rural Enterprise Group Terms of Reference
LEP Board Representative: Luke Rake (Chair)
LEP Officer Attendance: Lorna Carver
Dorset Rural Enterprise Priorities Paper
The Dorset Rural Enterprise Priorities Paper endeavours to recognise the issues, opportunities and probable barriers to growth in rural Dorset, whilst appreciating the contribution made by the natural environment, or our Natural Capital, which has recently been valued at £1.5bn of gross value added per annum. It will link with Government plans for boosting productivity in rural areas (summarised in ‘Towards a one nation economy: A 10-point plan for boosting rural productivity’).
The paper seeks to identify the actions which might be undertaken by the DLEP and its partners to encourage, not only the growth of existing sectors, but also the diversity of businesses, to increase the opportunities for those who live and work in our countryside.
Download the paper here.
The South West Rural Productivity Commission has been established as a partnership by four LEPs in the South West of England: The Heart of the South West (HotSW LEP), Dorset LEP, Swindon & Wiltshire (SWLEP), Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly (CIoS LEP) to explore the issues around rural productivity and growth.
These south west LEPs recognise the importance of rural growth, productivity and prosperity being tackled alongside urban growth, to ensure that improvements impact on all parts of the economy. The commission is set up to hear and review evidence from a range of sources and stakeholders.
Agri-tech key sector
Dorset has a very long and proud tradition of farming, which has helped to shape Dorset’s beautiful landscape.
Dorset is also the home to Kingston Maurward College, which provides education and training in agriculture and farming. They have recently opened the LEP-funded agri-tech centre, which comprises an agricultural classroom, an IT suite, a high spec workshop and machinery facilities including a fleet of tractors, a GPS tractor, plough, sprayer and variable rate drill. It helps to position Kingston Maurward College at the forefront of agricultural training facilities in the region.
For more information about the Agri-tech key sector see our Invest in Dorset page.