Does the countryside buck the trend?

The UK is back in recession and again the threat of a most unwelcome return to the gloom and uncertainty of 2008 is upon us all. But is it? Rural Solutions is a company that has worked specifically in the countryside for twenty years and over this time we have seen real hardship, such as at the time of Foot and Mouth Disease, the legacy of which continues to endure in some areas of the country. But it is hardships such as this that have made the rural areas, and those in them, more determined to be resilient to such devastating economic influences. It is not simply the fact that the British countryside is seen as offering consistent long term investor returns, since the Second World War it has generally been thus, it is the inextinguishable belief in the countryside as a place of lifestyle opportunities that is not getting enough of the recognition. We see landowners continuing to understand the true asset worth of countryside through evidence of increasing levels of investment in commerce and the demand for the best the countryside has to offer. Yes, pubs are closing, but the good ones carry on and new ones are opening, good builders are inundated with work and there is a wealth of excellent people from Gamekeepers to Accountants. A competitive rural sector culls the weak and as result we are seeing both standards and demand rising. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), adopted in March, has also brought a well-timed optimism to releasing value from existing assets or creating new business opportunities for us, the general public, to find something to do or a great place to work. These are times in which farmers are doing well and the bankers ‘struggle’ and we are, more than ever, looking for places in the countryside where we can spend our time and money. Plainly the British countryside is open for business and there is little evidence that a double dip recession can do what Foot and Mouth did not.

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