If we look beyond the wrappers of agriculture and tourism, the rural economy is as eclectic and exciting as its urban counterpart.

According to the Centre for Rural Economy, while farming defines the rural landscape, the rural economy in the UK is home to about half-a-million small and micro businesses, mostly unrelated to agriculture, and which provide some 70% of employment.

And that diversity needs to be highlighted and strengthened to ensure that the rural economy will be sustainable and resilient in years to come.

Ward Goodman have commissioned DECISION magazine to research a report which will consider The Future of the Rural Economy, identifying the opportunities, the issues which have to be addressed, and will demonstrate the qualities and potential of businesses which have chosen to locate away from city or conurbation environments.

Interview with Jason Barber | Co-Founder / Director | Black Cow Vodka

So many names have served to motivate entrepreneurs, including some from history, although Genghis Khan isn’t probably the first which comes to mind as possible inspiration for a new business. Since the early nineteenth century, Jason Barber’s family have been cheesemakers, with their own dairy herd producing the milk. When he took over, he wasn’t […]

Interview with Paul Grimster | Managing Director | Angelfish Software

A key question for the owner of a small, rural business: “Do I have the ability and desire to scale? To push for significant growth, would I have to make a big investment and question the ethos that I started with in the first place: do I really want to grow beyond a lifestyle business […]

Interview with Luke Tetley | Director | HTQ Limited, Exclusive Home Furniture

There’s a divide between rural and urban which has an impact on a business like HTQ Limited, makers and installers of fitted and free- standing furniture under the Exclusive brand for commercial and public sector buildings. “If we need just a few sheets of board we have to accept a small-order surcharge, which our competitors […]

Interview with Richard Lee | Founder Director | Plankbridge

So the sermon goes, ‘the good shepherd lays down their life for their sheep’ – but it might be harder for them to give up their hut. Especially if it’s been hand crafted from sustainably sourced British oak and comes fully insulated with a wood-burning stove or cast iron electric radiator, ready to withstand the […]

Interview with Giles Dick-Read | Founder Director | Reads Coffee

It’s an ambition which his urban counterparts are unlikely to share, although Giles Dick-Read, founder director of Reads Coffee, says really it would best be described as more of a pipe dream. It’s not the desire to double the volume of coffee they roast which would be the point of difference, but how such an […]

Interview with Benjamin Crowe | Founder Director | The Vintage Tool Shop

It was serendipity rather than strategic planning that led Benjamin Crowe to the building which is perfectly synchronised with his business. He happened to be driving past at a time when he needed more space and noticed that the charity shop based in the property was closing down. The characterful three-storey shop with its small […]

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