Amazon – unlocking rural potential with a digital key

If the digital potential of the UK’s rural areas were unlocked, £12bn to £26.4bn could be added to the rural economy as well as at least £15bn to rural business’ turnover every year. This is according to a new report that was commissioned by Amazon and published by the Rural England and Scotland Rural College (SRUC).

In a statement, Doug Gurr, UK Country Manager, Amazon, said: “Over the past 20 years, we’ve seen opportunities for rural entrepreneurs transformed through e-commerce, better delivery services and growing access to fast broadband. But as today’s report shows, there’s much further to go before anyone can say the rural-urban divide has closed.

“Embracing digital technology not only benefits the economy; it also allows rural communities to combine great quality of life with access to global opportunities. We are working to play our part in helping achieve the report’s ambitions through programmes such as Amazon Academy events and webinars, where last year we helped hundreds of rural businesses learn how to go digital.”

Ultimately for this to work there needs to be better digital infrastructure which is being dealt with among others, by the Church of England, BT and central government. Once the infrastructure has improved it may be argued that one does not need to physically be anywhere in order to have an online presence. This could allow many to migrate to rural locations to continue their business, and ultimately add vigour to some of the least populated areas of the UK.