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A NEW VOICE TO REFRAME THE DEBATE

National policy is often perceived as giving greater weight to the interests of city regions, leaving places characterised predominantly by small rural towns facing key challenges that are not always well considered. This is holding back the powerful contribution our regions have to make to a sustainable national economy.

Britain's Leading Edge provides a powerful new voice to reframe the debate and help shape a national policy landscape that harnesses the unique strengths of all regions. 

We make a strong offer to Government to help:

  • deliver on its commitments made in response to the 2019 Lords Select Committee calling for a fresh approach to rural policy

  • ensure that a balanced Industrial Strategy takes advantage of our unique strengths, including as the natural home to address the Grand Challenges of clean growth and an ageing society

  • place the goal of regional resilience at the heart of future spending policy

 

WHY WE ARE NEEDED

City weighted policy and funding decisions are holding back the powerful contribution our regions have to make to the future national economy. This is creating a society where more places are being left behind, and it is weakening our union.


There is presently a ‘policy corridor’ running across the centre of England, in which Government has concentrated its infrastructure and innovation investment; devolution deals; its relocation of public sector jobs; and core funding for essential local services. 

While Britain is home to the richest regions in Europe, stark inequalities means that the disparity in Britain between the richest and poorest is the biggest in Europe. Despite Government efforts over the past decade, more British regions have fallen behind. It is overwhelmingly regions in Britain’s Leading Edge that are being left behind.

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WHO WE ARE

 
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Britain's Leading Edge is a collaboration of 12 upper tier local authorities that meet the criteria of being mainly or largely rural, with no major cities.

  • Cornwall Council

  • Cumbria County Council

  • Dorset Council

  • Durham County Council

  • East Riding of Yorkshire Council

  • Herefordshire Council

  • Council of the Isles of Scilly

  • Isle of Wight Council

  • Lincolnshire County Council

  • North Yorkshire County Council

  • Rutland County Council

  • Shropshire Council


Together, areas included within Britain’s Leading Edge are home to some six million people and cover nearly half of England.

We offer secure supplies of clean renewable energy essential to today's challenged national grid - and tomorrow's decarbonised economy. We are leading globally in developing the clean growth technologies of tomorrow, from deep geothermal to offshore wind. 

Our regions play a leading role in supporting public health. As we face the Grand Challenge of an ageing population, there is no better place to pioneer solutions to ageing well than Britain's Leading Edge.

As the home to almost 65% of England's Areas of Outstanding National Beauty, our natural capital offers an essential service to the national economy. 

We are feeding the nation, home to much of the nation's largest manufacturing sector (food and drink) and to 40% of England's agriculture, forestry and fishing businesses.

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