THE NFU says a new, ambitious, revolutionary approach is needed to ensure the Government’s levelling up agenda recognises the value of rural Britain.

It comes after a round table hosted by the thinktank Onward outlined the economic and societal gains to be made.

Some of the key areas discussed and outlined in a collection of essays included: rural proofing, broadband provision and investment in diversification.

NFU president Minette Batters said: “Currently, a lot of rural communities feel they are being left behind. We need to ensure that government policy – whether it’s affordable housing, planning, health, education or transport – work well for everyone, in urban and rural environments alike.

“Farming – and rural Britain – can provide solutions to the challenges we face, from green growth and climate change mitigation to improving the health and wellbeing of our nation by the food we produce, while contributing more than £120 billion to the national economy.

“And there is so much more rural Britain, and the farm businesses that lie at its heart, can deliver for the nation. The Government’s levelling up agenda is an opportunity for a revolutionary approach to rural Britain; one that maximises the potential of a community which plays such a core role in our national prosperity.”

Will Holloway, Onward’s deputy director, added: “The Government has rightly committed to increasing opportunity right across the country. Each area faces different challenges. Ensuring that opportunities are increased in rural areas as well as towns and cities will be crucial to national success.”