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About Us

The Essex Rural Partnership (ERP) was formed in 2002, the result of a merger between the Essex Rural Renewal Forum and the Essex Rural Strategy Steering Group.  Since 2012 ERP has been a member of Defra's Rural and Farming Network. 

The Partnership, managed by Rural Community Council of Essex (RCCE), and chaired by Cllr Simon Walsh, brings together a wide range of organisations from the public, private and voluntary sectors, all with a responsibility for the future of the county’s rural areas. The ERP's Vice Chairs are Philip Wilson and Mr Roger Hirst.   

ERP was created to encourage co-ordination of activities to maximise effectiveness of resources and a joint-working approach to achieve greater buy-in, a better chance of securing funding and best value. As a result local communities, rural businesses and the Essex countryside are benefiting from a more effective way of working.

As a non-statutory body, ERP enjoys the position of being an independent lobbyist and is well placed to represent and raise the profile of rural Essex at a local, regional, national and EU level.

In 2005 the Partnership was re-launched and, in order to identify the partner’s priorities, a revised Strategy was published. This was further updated in our 2009 Strategy: 2020 Vision for Rural Essex. 

Information on the current Essex Rural Strategy   2016 - 2020 and the latest news regarding the refresh 2020 - 2024 can be found here.