Posted 2 February 2005The Governor of the Bank of England, Mr Mervyn King, visited Harper Adams University College today to meet Shropshire business people and discuss the state of the rural economy. He met guests from a range of industries, including the service sector, manufacturers and small businesses, as well as Harper Adams staff and students.
Mr King began the visit with a tour of the Newport campus, which has recently seen major investments in academic and research facilities, including a new library, IT infrastructure and state-of-the-art laboratory equipment. The Governor was particularly interested in the University College’s plans for demonstrating sustainable technologies, and their use in rural businesses and communities.
The tour and discussion session were part of a regional visit programme undertaken by the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee. The visits are intended to provide information from the grass roots of industry and commerce about the challenges of running a business and what the Bank, in its wider national role in economic management, can do to help.
Mr King said, "The opportunity to talk with business and education leaders here today has been invaluable. These first-hand meetings provide concrete examples which help me, and my fellow members of the Monetary Policy Committee, to understand the wide range of economic data that we look at before taking our interest-rate decisions."
David Llewellyn, Harper Adams’ Director of Corporate Affairs, said: “The event served as a reminder of the important role that rural areas play in the UK economy. As home to around one million businesses, of all sizes and types, and with higher business start-up rates than in many urban districts, rural entrepreneurship is a vital part of the economic scene.”
Professor Wynne Jones, Harper Adams’ Principal, added: “We were delighted to host this important meeting between Mr King and representatives of local business interests, in which the debate was positive, lively and stimulating.
“Meetings such as this underline the important role of the university sector in supporting policy makers, businesses and entrepreneurs. The National Rural Knowledge Exchange, a consortium of 14 higher education institutions working in the land-based and rural sectors, and led by Harper Adams, also plays a major part in enabling such dialogue to take place”