The East of England Rural Forum (EERF)

Position Papers

Inward Investment in Market Towns in the East of England
The Forum supported a request from Market Towns East (MTE) to part fund the development of this paper. In 2008 MTE decided to undertake a small research exercise to identify the factors that contribute to successful inward investment in market towns.

The report is structured around four case studies, followed by a summary of both the key findings from qualitative research, and a brief literature review, both conducted to provide a contextual background. The appendix provides a list of possible positive and negative effects of inward investment. It is accompanied by a checklist of the key factors required for inward investment in market towns. The checklist has been designed to be used as a guide for towns assessing any planned or existing inward investment projects.


Rural Learning and Skills
This paper was presented as a background paper for the meeting held on the 6th September 2007 between the Minister, Jonathan Shaw, and the chairs of the Regional Rural Forums.

Its recommendations were for Government to work with the regions to address the problems rural areas face in accessing skills provision, and thus achieve a greater impact for government investment in these areas.

The areas in which the government can help regions deliver more effective learning and skills interventions in rural areas lie in three main areas:

  • Policy and planning of educational provision:
  • Implementation, for further support
  • Business and community engagement


Water Resources
This paper in draft was presented to the Environment Agency in response to its Water Resources Strategy consultation in October 2007. 

The purpose of the paper was to identify the key issues that the East of England Region faces as pressure mounts for demand of water with the rise of dwellings in the region rise and the demand from agriculture as it is effected from the change in climate. 

Key recommendations are made in the paper that the Forum has pursued at a local and national level.


Rural Growth
The Forum commissioned this paper to be written after they held a meeting in June 2008 where they debated the issue that the East of England is one of the most rapidly growing regions in England in terms of both population and economic growth.

However, the region’s large rural areas are seen by many as being increasingly dependent on commuting to local large centres of economic activity (cities and larger towns) and London. This has raised concerns about community sustainability, cohesion and diversity.

This paper has been forwarded to Government Ministers as well as key regional organisations to influence the debate.


Planning Issues that Impact on the Rural Economy
This briefing originates from concerns expressed by the East of England Rural
Forum (EERF) that the application of planning policy in rural areas is, in some cases, inconsistent and is unnecessarily impeding economic development and creating difficulties for rural businesses.


Growing Our Future Food
This position paper was produced after a series of three breakfast discussions were hosted by the East of England Sustainable Food and Farming Industry Group in conjunction with the East of England Development Agency (EEDA).The paper addresses the increased global demand for agricultural products and sets out what it means for the East of England farming sector.


Wheels 2 Work
The EERF supports the view that W2W is an effective approach to social and economic inclusion and believes a coordinated regional approach would create the conditions for a long term, sustainable W2W scheme. Wheels to Work schemes enable people to improve their employability and skills base.

This paper sets out the background to this initiative and outlines the outcomes and benefits of the scheme. A power point presentation presentation that was made to the Forum is also attached.