Its launch follows over 18 months of preparation work, undertaken by a variety of partners and co-ordinated by Rural Community Council of Essex with support from Essex County Council.
The new vision for the strategy is of 'A county which engages, values and respects its rural environment; and where rural communities fully contribute to and benefit from a healthy, prosperous and connected Essex.' It is intended that this will be achieved by focussing on 4 aims: prosperity, well-being, connection and innovation.
A six-step plan details how delivery will be achieved, and at the launch event all partners were encouraged to play their part in making the vision a reality, through working together to achieve maximum benefits. Several of the speakers made reference to the short-term future being a time of great change and uncertainty, and highlighted the importance of a united strategic direction whilst working in such an environment.
Cllr David Finch, Leader of Essex County Council, pledged the County Council's support to the strategy and asked others to do likewise. Other speakers included Revd Janet Nicholls who presented a case study on 'Old Age and How to Live It' and Dale Symons who expressed his thanks for the Partnership's role in bringing Leader funding to Essex, which has had a direct benefit to his rural vineyard business and boosted local employment in the area.
'Respecting our Past, Embracing our Future: A Strategy for Rural Essex' is available to download from the Essex Rural Partnership website, along with various evidence documents.
At the launch event those present were encouraged to pledge their support for the strategy, and to tie it to a Rowan tree, specially sourced for the occasion. The pledges will be recorded, and the tree will be planted at an Essex Country Park later in the year - a continuing and growing symbol of the strategy and its partners working towards it.
To read more about the strategy, please click here
and to access the evidence documents click here to be redirected to the Essex Rural Strategy page.