1 Building on Defra’s work on assessing the impact of the recession in rural areas, undertake a review of additional indicators for assessing the impact of, and recovery from, the recession in rural areas – this will include an analysis of the data and an assessment of each indicator’s suitability for use in tracking and predicting the effects of the recession in rural areas. We are particularly interested in identifying leading indicators of recovery in rural areas.
2 Using the indicators identified in objective 1, undertake an analysis of the impact of the recession in rural areas compared to urban areas.
3 Identify and assess the key factors affecting and driving economic recovery in rural areas, establishing the relative importance of the drivers and highlighting any key differences relevant to particular sectors or size of enterprise. This element of work should consider what key dynamic changes will affect recovery in rural areas, e.g. access to broadband, availability of employment space, international food prices/markets. In addition this element of work will need to consider the factors that will determine the responsiveness of supply and demand in rural areas .
4 Following on from objective 3, identify any notable barriers to growth that rural businesses are likely to experience as compared to their counterparts in urban areas, these could include factors such as planning, infrastructure, skills and age of workforce.
5 Based on objectives 3 and 4, make suggestions as to how to maximise the impact of the positive factors affecting economic recovery in rural areas and how to address any barriers identified.