The Bishop of St Albans received the following written answer on 24th May 2022:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the report by the APPG for Rural Business and Rural Powerhouse Levelling Up the Rural Economy: An Inquiry into rural productivity, published on 27 April.
Lord Benyon (Con): We welcome this report which highlights some of the key challenges for rural areas.
We are providing funding to put in place the infrastructure that rural areas need. We are investing £5 billion so hard-to-reach areas can get gigabit speeds. Over 67% of UK premises can now access gigabit-capable broadband. The Government-led £1 billion Shared Rural Network will also roll out fast and reliable 4G coverage to 95 per cent of UK landmass.
We are committed to levelling up rural areas, with over £2.6 billion committed nationwide via the UK Shared Prosperity Fund to spread opportunity.
The Government has made a clear commitment to rural proofing. We will publish the second annual Rural Proofing report following our Levelling Up White Paper which will set out the Government’s approach to levelling up in in rural areas and targeted approaches where needed to develop rural infrastructure services.