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Belted Galloway’s Cows in a green field

E9 – Farming & rural businesses

Support sustainable farm businesses, rural business innovation and diversification, so as to increase the average LFA farm business income to match the national average wage and increase the number of jobs within the sector to 3,250 by 2025.


How are we doing on this objective

Progress: The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics’ Inter-Departmental Business Register show the number of jobs in the farming and land management sector increased to 3,079. That is an increase of almost 400 (15%) over the last 2 years.


Rationale: ‘High-nature value’ farming is critical to the long-term well-being of the National Park’s special qualities but many farmers earn less than the minimum wage for the hours worked, and their core agricultural business currently operates at a loss.  The Dales’ average farm business income is £19,000, compared to a national average of £22,800.  Alongside reforms of agri-environment support, there is a need to improve core business profitability – with a renewed focus on improving business margins rather than just business turnover.  Planning policy in the Yorkshire Dales Local plan is supportive of appropriate new farm and rural business development and diversification.

Lead partnersCumbria Local Enterprise Partnership; York, North Yorkshire & East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership;

Supporting partners:  Dales Farmer Network; Cumbria Farmer Network; Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority; Forestry Commission;

Further information: North Yorkshire LEP;         

Cost over 5 years:  £2,000,000

Funding shortfall:  n/a

Related objectivesA1; A8, A9; B11; C1; C2; D1; D2; D3; D5; D8; E1, E2; E4; E7; F6

Ecosystem services:  Biodiversity; Food provision; Timber provision; Genetic diversity; Recreation; Energy;

Trade-offs:  New economic development has the potential to have impacts on tranquillity (A2); landscape character (A3); important historical buildings (A6) important habitats (C1), and important species (C2).  Management and mitigation of any impacts will be achieved through the policies in the Yorkshire Dales Local Plan.

Baseline: 2,683 people were employed in the rural land-based sector in 2017.