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Drivers of rural business employment growth, decline and stability - RE0265

Evidence used to contribute to the development of the Rural Economy Growth Review (REGR) measures highlighted that there is a potential gap in our evidence relating to the need to better understand detailed, high granularity information about what type of businesses have been growing and declining by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) rural and urban settlement definitions since the onset of the recession in 2008.

The project aims to enable Defra to gain a better understanding of what type of businesses have been growing, declining or are in a stable condition in rural vs. urban settlements since the onset of the recession in 2008.

It is envisaged that as a result of a better understanding of business structure and trends in Rural Areas Government will be able to improve the formulation of future policy and better support Defra’s business plan commitment to ‘Support Sustainable Economic Growth in Rural Areas’.

The objectives of this research project are to;
i. Provide a comprehensive list of key sources of data on rural businesses (including ONS, wider government and commercial sources) including highlighting those with potential for further analysis in this project. We envisage that these will include the Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR)

ii. Undertake quantitative data analysis from key databases/surveys identified above to produce a range of rural/urban analytical outputs. These outputs should show which business types have been growing or declining or remain in a stable state and on what measure and where

iii. Identify and apply an appropriate set of indicators for use as markers for business growth, decline and stability, outlining their appropriateness for monitoring trends, and any key limitations

iv. Establish what the key drivers for growth, decline and stability have been since the onset of the recession in 2008. This will combine regression analysis of other quantitative data and further qualitative research which will collect evidence about the range of experiences encountered by rural/urban businesses and greater insight into what (how and why) is driving this growth, decline and stability

v. Produce a final report which draws out key trends and conclusions from the work and highlights any economic leverage points, market failures and policy barriers.

Project Documents
• EVID4 - Final project report : Frontier Economics Drivers Report 140714   (1636k)
• SUM - Summary Report : Frontier Economics drivers of rural business growth and decline   (360k)
• SUP - Supplementary Report : LEP analysis   (10060k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2013

To: 2014

Cost: £89,600
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Frontier Economics Ltd
Fields of Study
Rural Affairs