Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire Senedd Member Samuel Kurtz, launched the ‘Generating Growth in the Rural Economy - an inquiry into rural productivity in Wales’ in the Senedd this month.

Mr Kurtz, who is chair of the Cross-Party Group on Rural Growth, led the inquiry, the largest ever cross-party Senedd investigation into the needs of the rural economy, and the final report sets out a robust and ambitious blueprint for the Welsh countryside, drawing together evidence from business, stakeholders, and employers.

Its recommendations focus on infrastructure and connectivity; housing and planning; tourism; and food and farming which, if implemented, could unleash the potential of Wales’ rural economy.

Some of the key recommendations made in the report include:

• Re-establishment of a Rural Development Board (ROB), to act as a focal point for facilitating rural growth.

• A raft of measures to enable the planning consent system to become an enabler for responsible growth.

• Measures to revitalise the rural tourism industry such as making Visit Wales to become an arm’s length body from government, with resources comparable to other parts of the UK.

• A review of the terms and clarity of the funding rates of the Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS).

Mr Kurtz MS, Chair of the CPG, said: “Rural Wales plays a key role in the future prosperity of our nation, but its potential will only be realised if policy makers and government understand its unique nature and needs.

“This cross-party report has taken evidence from a range of sectors throughout Wales, drawing on experiences of those living and working in rural Wales.

“The recommendations put forward are non-partisan but can act as a catalyst to simulate sustainable growth in our rural economy.

“I’m excited that this is the first report of its kind in the Senedd and I hope whomever is Wales’s new First Minister takes these recommendations seriously, to deliver for my constituents in West Wales and all of those who live in rural Wales.”

Mr Kurtz helped lead the largest protest in the history of the Senedd recently, as thousands of farmers and those from rural communities across Wales descended on Cardiff Bay.