Delegates from South Korea jetted into Wiltshire College & University Centre’s Lackham campus to share thoughts on rural economic development.

The visit on Monday 22nd October was organised by the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) and saw 23 delegates including Government officials and local Government county officials from South Korea learn about how Western countries are developing policies for rural economic development, including initiatives that can be delivered at the local level.

As part of their only UK visit, Wiltshire Council delivered a presentation about its strong rural economic development programme working with the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the College’s Assistant Principal Ian Revill also spoke about the Lackham campus including its Agriculture, Animal, Land-Based and Life Sciences courses.

Ian said: “We were delighted that Lackham was chosen as the venue for this visit, organised by SWLEP, as our core purpose is to deliver the required skills to people in order to enable the rural economy in Wiltshire and the South West to thrive.

“Any rural economy requires the right workforce in terms of both numbers and skills in order to improve productivity.”

Speaking after the visit Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s Head of Investment and Export Phil Clement said: “We are delighted to have been asked by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea to host this delegation visit.

“Choosing Wiltshire as their location of choice in the UK recognises the strong world-leading rural economy in our area.

“Rural businesses make a vital contribution to the economy of Swindon and Wiltshire generating around 44 per cent of annual economic output, more than £7bn each year and there’s potential for that to grow.

“We are working with a range of partners across the private, public and academic sectors to help shape the Swindon and Wiltshire ‘offer’ to prospective inward investors and are also working with local businesses to support their growth aspirations.

“We look forward to exploring potential opportunities for inward investment and export that might arise from this visit.”

The delegation is now continuing its trip by visiting two places in France.