Rural Delivery

As part of this, now closed, change programme implementing the bulk of the Rural Strategy 2004 [PDF 906KB] – the government’s response to Lord Haskin’s 2003 review of Rural Delivery [PDF 628KB], a smaller number of organisations with clearer and more accountable roles were set up: Natural England, the integrated countryside and land management agency, and the Commission for Rural Communities. At the same time the Regional Development Agencies also took over the former Rural Development Service’s socio-economic funding responsibilities.

Natural England brings together English Nature, the Countryside Agency and the Rural Development Service. Its role is to ensure that the natural environment is conserved, enhanced, and managed for the benefit of present and future generations, thereby contributing to sustainable development.

The Commission for Rural Communities was formed from part of the Countryside Agency and has a particular focus on disadvantage.  The Commission’s Chair is also the government’s Rural Advocate.

The Regional Development Agencies have taken on decision making and funding for the delivery of rural economic and social regeneration, working in close partnership with local authorities and others. As well as clarifying accountabilities, this removes the unhelpful distinction between urban and rural regeneration.

For more information, look at the organisation’s websites:

Natural England
Commission for Rural Communities
England's Rural Development Agencies

Defra remains responsible for monitoring the 5 benefits of the programme, which are:

  • streamlined funding programmes deliver efficiently managed and effective funding streams with high levels of customer satisfaction;
  • the creation of Natural England leads to improved conservation, enhancement and management of the natural environment; delivered more efficiently, effectively and with greater customer satisfaction;
  • increased capacity of the delivery framework to enable a vibrant rural economy with successful and sustainable rural businesses, helping to support vibrant and inclusive communities with fair access to services;
  • rural communities, groups and their representatives are provided with a clearer voice through the establishment of the Commission for Rural Communities and the enhancement of the Regional Rural Affairs Forums;
  • the Modernising Rural Delivery programme delivers annual efficiencies of £13m by 2007/08, rising to £21m by 2009/20

A full report on progress [PDF 1.2MB] against all the commitments was published in November 2006. To assist in reading the report a glossary is also available [PDF 86KB].

Page last modified: 7 September, 2009
Page published: 11 November, 2003