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Farron Welcomes Rural Business Report

January 20, 2016 11:34 AM

Tim FarronWestmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron has welcomed a new report into the impact of rural businesses on the local economy.

Figures from the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) show that, across the Westmorland and Lonsdale constituency, landowners, farmers and rural businesses employ 40,000 people. The majority of these are small businesses, with 87% of them employing fewer than ten people. They also help to provide 1360 apprenticeships.

Overall, landowners, farmers and rural businesses contribute an estimated £1.6 billion to the economy.

The new report launched today by the CLA will be presented to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Rural Business in the House of Commons. The report highlights the contribution that rural businesses make to the countryside and to the wider economy.

Tim said: "It will come as no surprise to local people to hear about the impact made by small rural businesses to our local economy. The South Lakes has a vibrant entrepreneurial atmosphere, which benefits the local economy and provides jobs and apprenticeships.

"However, rural businesses face a difficult time ahead as the continued closure of roads and bridges will have an impact on the tourist economy. I will continue to fight for a temporary solution to be found to enable the crucial A591 route to be reopened before the end of May.

"There also remains work to be done to ensure that rural businesses have access to decent broadband, to enable them to connect to consumers and markets."