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14th September 2011, 12:14pm
Researchers explore economic problems facing rural areas
A farmer digging land The challenges facing rural communities are being explored by economic experts at the University of Lincoln this week.

Lincoln Business School is hosting two events promoting research into the rural economy.

On Tuesday (13th September) more than 40 delegates attended a seminar on rural economic policy in the first of a new series of events run by the Rural Services Network (RSN). The RSN has recently conducted research presented to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Rural Services highlighting low levels of public sector investment in rural areas.

The seminar was organised by Ivan Annibal, visiting fellow at the University of Lincoln and founder of economic development practitioners Rose Regeneration. Keynote speeches were delivered by Jan Sensier of East Midlands Councils, Dr Gary Bosworth of the University of Lincoln and James Derounian of the University of Gloucestershire.

Later this week (Friday 16th September), a symposium on rural tourism will consider the potential conflicts of interest between conservation and economic development in rural areas. Guest speakers Dr Joanie Willett from Exeter University and Dr Gunjan Saxena from Hull University will present their research alongside nine other papers from academics from across the UK. The new head of Lincoln Business School, Professor Tom Mordue, will also deliver a keynote paper on the impacts of tourism in North Yorkshire.

The symposium has been organised by Dr Gary Bosworth, a researcher in rural enterprise, and Dr Helen Farrell, an expert in rural tourism and its impact on the environment. The event is sponsored by the Regional Studies Association and it is hoped it will initiate a programme of events to develop a European network of researchers and policy-makers working in rural tourism.

Dr Bosworth said: “Just as Lincoln is at the heart of a large rural county, it is exciting for the University to be at the heart of rural research, investigating the challenges and opportunities facing the wide range of businesses that operate in today’s countryside.”

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