New money in rural areas: assessing the impacts of investment in rural land assets

New money in rural areas examines the economic, social and environmental impacts on rural localities and communities of new investment, and seeks to answer: how can the benefits of new money flowing into rural areas be maximised and how can potential negative externalities be mitigated?

Research approach

In assessing local impacts, the research looks at the underlying values of investors and the way in which assets are managed and whether the investment brings discernible benefits to rural places and communities.

Through ten case studies from across Europe (including Trump International Golf Links in Scotland, Moominworld Ltd in Finland and James Dyson's Beeswax Farming Ltd in the UK) assessed against an appraisal framework, the report covers both existing activities and land uses, such as a vineyard and farming, and transformational changes, including a theme park, golf course and renewable energy. The report finds many examples of good local relationships between investors and communities that are delivering positive outcomes, but also examples characterised by growing mistrust and suspicion.

Research findings

The report concludes by considering how best to protect local interests and ensure good investment practice and discusses the effectiveness of regulation/legislation and the setting/implementation of environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards.


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