THE growth of a support organisation for Solihull and Warwickshire farms and rural businesses was recognised this week at the West Midlands Rural Affairs Conference.
Delegates at the sixth annual conference heard how the Hub now has over 1000 members and facilitates business development, organises events to improve business performance and provides an information and signposting service for local farmers.
Discussions at the conference were led by BBC Radio presenter Eric Smith and a keynote speech was made by Nick Paul, Chairman of Advantage West Midlands, the regional development agency for the Midlands. Alison McLean, board member of The Commission for Rural Communities and David Collier, Regional Director of the National Farmers’ Union helped to direct the day.
Mr Paul sad: “this is an important time of change to be debating the future prosperity of the region and we were delighted that over 100 delegates took part.
“The spirit of the conference was overwhelmingly positive and innovative.
“Over 80 per cent of the West Midlands is rural and the challenges of demographic change and the economic downturn are sure to affect us all.”
Advantage West Midland’s new ‘Rural Evidence Base’ website was also launched, which has been established to provide policy makers and planners with an in-depth understanding of the rural West Midlands.