Rural Community Summit Hosted by BBC Journalist Nicholas Owen

Mole Valley's rural businesses and communities are invited to the district's first Rural Summit on Tuesday 26 February, hosted by BBC journalist Nicholas Owen.

This free, ticketed event, which will take place at Hartsfield Manor in Betchworth from 10am to 2pm, will be a chance for businesses and rural Mole Valley's community organisations to debate current challenges and opportunities.

A range of topics will be explored; Digital Connectivity, the Visitor Economy, Community Assets, Community Safety, Rural-Based Business and Rural Housing.

The panel of local experts agreed so far will be:

  • Professor Caroline Scarles, Professor of Tourism at the University of Surrey
  • Marc Jones, owner of the Red Lion in Betchworth and Director of the MR Group, which advises pubs on how to succeed
  • Lucy Quinnell, owner of Fire and Iron at Rowhurst Forge in Leatherhead, founder of the Teazle Wood Trust and winner of the Leatherhead and District Women in Business Award 2015
  • Angus Denny from Broadband for Surrey Hills (B4SH)

There will be a variety of stands where delegates can speak directly to key stakeholders in rural areas about topics that interest them, and network with local specialists.

Councillor Corinna Osborne-Patterson, Cabinet Member for People and Rural Mole Valley, said: "This event is an important part of our Rural Community Strategy, aimed at supporting thriving, inclusive and sustainable rural areas. I'm excited to see what issues we can explore together, as the feedback we receive from the summit will inform our ideas going forward."

There will be refreshments and a buffet lunch.

To attend the event, businesses are asked to reserve their place at

To find out more about the Mole Valley Rural Community Strategy, visit

Last Updated: 28/01/2019

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