Case studies in country renewal

29th August 1997 at 01:00
From fox-hunting to BSE,countryside Britain has problems of its own. Ngaio Crequer reports on some enterprising solutions

What's the difference between an urban and a rural training and enterprise council? "There's more space between the people," jokes David Rossington.

With many of the thousands of rural jobs dependant on the meat industry under threat, Somerset TEC prepared a report for the Government on the effect of BSE on employment, pulling together work by other TECs on the same subject.

At a meeting held with the TUC relating specifically to BSE and the beef industry, it was proposed that Somerset act as a pilot area for a vocational project to provide training in the development of agricultural and horticultural skills.

The TEC commissioned a leaflet by an independent veterinary surgeon which gave the public the facts and figures about BSE and CJD.

The beef crisis is far from the only rural problem. Village economy has been declining, shops have closed, bus services have been lost and many small business that provided for the needs of villages have disappeared. North Derbyshire TEC has launched project LEVER (Local Enterprise and Village Economic Regeneration) to find out how best to help a village improve its economy.

It began with an economic survey of a village. allowing residents to put forward their own ideas for helping local businesses. One result is a new Business Directory to publicise local firms.

A survey is also under way of all unemployed people to see who could benefit from training.

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