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Princess to address experts in Gloucestershire debating the business of the rural homes crisis

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Written by:   | Posted 11-February-2014 7:08

Princess Anne is due to give a keynote speech in Cheltenham at a seminar on rural housing.

The Princess Royal, who lives in the county at the Gatcombe Park estate, will be at the national affordable rural housing seminar on February 21 in her capacity as patron of the English Rural Housing Association.

The event has been jointly organised by the Rural Services Network and Rural Housing Alliance.

The princess, who was the guest of honour at the first Gloucestershire Apprenticeship Awards in 2012, will be joined by speakers from the National Housing Federation, Chartered Institute of Housing and affordable rural housing providers. 

The seminar will consider the challenges facing rural communities and those involved in addressing these, identify areas of good practice, innovation and opportunities for the future, all of which are critical given the reduced availability of public funding and the continued marginalisation of rural influences within the policy making process.

Peter Moore, chairman of the Rural Housing Alliance and chief executive of Cornwall Rural Housing Association, said: "As well as launching the partnership, we hope that the seminar will help to inspire delegatesacross the country to help tackle the affordable housing crisis affecting our countryside in their own areas.

"The attendance and contribution of the Princess Royal to the event will certainly help us in achieving this aim."

Rural Services Network chief executive Graham Biggs said: "The lack of affordable rural housing has been a long-standing concern across our membership and the opportunity to work with the highly respected practitioners in this way is an opportunity to act on this.

"As well as attracting high- profile speakers, including the Princess Royal, delegates at the seminar will include senior decision makers from local authorities, rural interest groups and housing providers from across England, whose collective efforts can make a real difference to this issue."

English Rural Housing Association chief executive Adrian Maunders said: "The association was delighted when the Princess Royal agreed to become our patron in 2013 given the long-standing interest and support she has shown in the provision of affordable rural homes.

"We are equally delighted that she kindly agreed to speak at the seminar on our behalf and continues to help us advocate around this issue."

The seminar will also mark the launch of a new partnership, which is aimed at securing and promoting a collaborative national approach to advocating the need for affordable rural housing.

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