A Cumbrian MP has, together with over 30 other MPs and peers, written to the PM asking him to back tHe rural economy.

Dr Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and The Border, joined the group that wrote to Johnson asking him to introduce a new White Paper designed to grow the rural economy, following the publication of a major new report by a cross-party group.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Rural Business and Rural Powerhouse published a report last week highlighting how £43biilion could be added to the UK economy.

The report, entitled ‘Levelling up the rural economy', set out 27 clear measures to unlock the economic potential of the countryside, adding up to £43billion to grodd alue added (GVA).

Now, MPs and Peers from across the political divide are calling on the Johnson to lead a government-wide effort to unlock the potential of businesses in rural communities.

Hudson said: "The Government has to start being ambitious for the rural economy.

"I want to see Penrith and The Border thrive.

"I want it to be a place where local people can afford to live, get a good job and fulfil their aspirations.

"Penrith and The Border is one of the most rural parts of the country, and we are an extremely entrepreneurial bunch, but with, but too often the specific needs of areas like ours are overlooked in national policymaking.

"85 per cent of rural businesses are not engaged in farming or forestry, and they often face structural barriers to their success.

"Given 23 per cent of all businesses in England are based in the countryside, with many more in the other three nations of the United Kingdom, it is clear the removal of those barriers could yield considerable economic growth, for the betterment of their local communities and the country as a whole."

In a separate letter to Johnson, the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) and the Federation of Small Businesses added their support for major government reform.

The letter said: "We are deeply ambitious for rural Britain.

"The countryside is not a museum, it is an economic powerhouse in its own right.

"We believe in the extraordinary potential of rural communities to create opportunity and prosperity for everyone, irrespective of their background or circumstance."

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