Baldwins Partnering on Rural Innovation Centre

Photographer: Colin Watts

Baldwins Group, one of the UK’s fastest growing accountancy and business advisory firms, has this week announced it is partnering with leading UK universities and commercial enterprises to launch the National Innovation Centre for the Rural Economy (NICRE), which will undertake research, allowing the development of government policy to further support the country’s rural economy.

Gary Brockway, Partner at Baldwin’s Accountancy, said:

“Baldwins is uniquely well placed to support NICRE. Our focus on SME businesses, which includes many rural companies, gives us an unparalleled insight into what those companies need to thrive. If that understanding can be fed into how government policy supports the rural economy, then that will drive better outcomes for rural business at all levels. The launch of NICRE is timely, given the impact on rural business from COVID-19, as well as the likely further impact from BREXIT later in the year”

A key area of focus for NICRE’s work will be to inform future policies, programmes and support services for rural enterprise, optimising the benefits they deliver in meeting the countries long term rural economic challenges and opportunities. These include meeting the needs of an aging society, the drive for clean growth, transports and mobility and the data revolution, as outlined in the UK’s industrial strategy.

Based in Newcastle, NICRE will be led by experts from the universities of Newcastle, Warwick, Gloucestershire and Royal Agriculture. In addition to Baldwins, other commercial partners include Strutt & Parker Property Consultants.

The centre will formally open in September 2020, but work is already underway to support the national response to the coronavirus pandemic. NICRE is being funded by a grant of £3.8m from Research England, part of UK Research and Innovation.

In England alone, there are over half a million rural enterprises, which employ over 3.6 million people and contribute more than £260bn to national GDP.

Baldwins is one of the UK’s fastest growing accountancy firms and part of the Cogital Group. With over 95 offices across England, it is a national accountancy and business advisory practice, with the capacity to work and build strong ties at local and national levels. With its core focus on SME business, Baldwins works with many rural based companies, including over 5,000 agricultural businesses.

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Lisa Baker is the Editor of Always Finance, and writes about Business, Finance Technology and Healthcare. Lisa is also the owner of Need to See IT Publishing.