Caerphilly Business Forum Insight: The importance of a rural economy
News, Opinion | Richard Gurner | Published: 13:00, Tuesday August 27th, 2013.
In a regular feature for Caerphilly Observer, Caerphilly Business Forum and its partners offer their business Insight. This week Caerffili Cwm a Mynydd explains the importance of the rural economy.
Does the term ‘rural economy’ conjure up a rustic scene of country clichés involving hounds, hay bales and Harris tweed? If so, then you may be surprised to learn that over 75% of the Caerphilly Borough is made up of countryside, so most of the county’s businesses, great and small, will have some sort of impact on the rural landscape and its communities.
Home to award-winning farriers, craft cider, dairy ice cream and fine mountain lamb, we host a great deal of innovative businesses in and around our rural areas.
Support for rural businesses is provided by ‘Caerffili Cwm a Mynydd’ – a Rural Development Plan programme which is being delivered through a partnership of public, private, voluntary and community sectors.
The partnership is delighted to be supporting the ‘Contribution to the Rural Economy’ category at this year’s Caerphilly Business Forum Awards taking place on November 22, celebrating local businesses which make a positive, creative or innovative impact on Caerphilly’s rural economy. We are certainly looking forward to entries from all business sectors and sizes from across the borough which should be received by September 20.
So what is a rural business? Well there are the obvious examples such as farms – yes, they’re businesses too – and we are very proud to support excellent examples of farriery, timber, craft and food production. However it goes further than traditional countryside ventures.
It is a flexible definition and often refers to the enterprise’s location and contribution to our themes and aims. So to the very traditional, we can add the surprising non-traditional ventures of Space-Invaders, spa-style pampering and spaghetti alla Llanbradach.
Much of our work is encouraging and fostering links between these micro-enterprises through newly–established networks, in not only agriculture and food production, but also the equally important sectors of hospitality provision, timber and craft. Our practical approach includes actively employing the services of these enterprises, so we like to see ourselves as more about action than admin support.
We feel very privileged to have a great working relationship with such a thriving, vibrant community of micro-enterprises and our ‘Budding Businesses’ grant scheme has proved to be very successful in helping many of these innovative Caerphilly businesses.
Support for the local rural economy is key to improving the quality of life of local people. So next time you see a horse in a field; imagine the farmer who owns the land, the farrier who puts the shoes on the horse, the local shop that supplies the feed and the community member who benefits from riding.
Caerffili Cwm a Mynydd has received funding through the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-2013 which is funded by the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
Gavin Jones, Snr RDP Development Officer, Caerffili Cwm a Mynydd