The UK Industrial Strategy White Paper was launched in November 2017 by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. It includes examples, references and plans that embed and infer opportunities for Britain’s rural economies. Rural stakeholders worked hard to inform the final Strategy, including via a Workshop at the Rural Entrepreneurship Conference, Newcastle University in June 2017. This Workshop will give organisations and agencies active in England’s rural economies an opportunity to explore and inform plans for implementing the approved UK Industrial Strategy.

Timetable and Location
The Workshop will be held on Tuesday 20th March 2018 at Room 4.10, Newcastle University’s London campus. The Workshop will run from 10.30 to 15.00hrs, including lunch.

Objectives and approach
To examine plans for delivering the UK Industrial Strategy, to facilitate rural stakeholders’ questions, responses and aspirations, to examine rural opportunities for spatial, sectoral or functional implementation. We will encourage constructive dialogue to identify opportunities and intentions for stakeholders in rural economies to work with agencies, authorities and business bodies to deliver industry sectors, business environment or spatial improvements effective for rural areas from national to local levels. Participants should familiarise themselves with the Government Strategy, before the Workshop.

Workshop Programme



10.30 - 10.45

Registration and Coffee

10.45 – 11.00

Introduction to Workshop, and to Newcastle University’s Rural Enterprise UK (REUK) activity. Professor Jeremy Philipson, Centre for Rural Economy, Newcastle University

11.00 – 11.25

Overview of the UK Industrial Strategy and Government’s plans for its implementation. David Campbell, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)

11.25 - 12.30

Panel–led discussion and questions.  Panellists will initiate discussion about the UK Industrial Strategy’s rural footprint and opportunities.  Each panellist will briefly offer their perspective, then workshop participants are encouraged to offer comments, questions and ideas:            

  • Andy Dean       Assistant Director, Rural Services Network  
  • David Fursdon Chairman, Beeswax Dyson Farming, and SW Rural                                    Productivity Commission.
  • Janice Rose     Economic and Inclusion Policy Manager, Northumberland                            Council
  • Sarah Green    Chair, Rural Programme, Federation of Small Business.
  • Tim Goodship  Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  • Edward Corse  Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy 

12.30 – 13.20

Lunch and networking

13.20 – 13.40

Introduction to afternoon session. Professor Matthew Gorton, Newcastle University Business School, and co-lead of the REUK initiative.

13.40 – 14.20

Attendees will be invited to attach themselves to a single break-out group to more fully explore rural opportunities, challenges and engagement in the Industrial Strategy’s:

  • Industry Sector Deals, including skills/innovation/links to place
  • Local Industrial Strategies, and place-focused Growth/ Productivity Deals
  • Business Environment, including Exports/Trade.

14.20 -14.45

Feedback of key ‘rural offers’ from nominated group leaders, and comments from all. The REUK team will collate and develop these discussions and proposals from participants following the Workshop, will circulate it to participants for endorsement, and make it available to UK Government and others involved in implementing the Industrial Strategy as a record of rural stakeholders’ offers and aspirations to achieve equitable and appropriate delivery in our rural economies.

14.45 - 15.00

Summary and Close. Andrew Paterson, BEIS and Professor Jeremy Philipson, Newcastle University

If you are interested in participating, please email to no later than 6 March 2018, as we cannot guarantee a place after that date. Please also let us know if you have any specific dietary requirements.

Looking forward to seeing you at our workshop.