OFFICIALS from South Korea are visiting Wiltshire College Lackham today to learn about rural economic development.

The delegation of 23 people from South Korea's Ministry of of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, including government officials and local government county officials, are guests of the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) and Wiltshire College.

The visitors are keen to find out how Western countries develop policies for rural economic development, including initiatives that can be delivered at the local level. Wiltshire is the only place in the UK the delegation will visit, before continuing to visit two other places in France.

Delegates will meet in the Lacock Suite to hear presentations by SWLEP and Wiltshire Council about their rural economic development programme, working closely with the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Wiltshire College will also deliver a presentation about their agriculture, animal, land-based and life sciences courses.

Speaking ahead of the visit, SWELP’s head of investment and export Phil Clement said: “Choosing Wiltshire as their location of choice in the UK recognises the strong world-leading rural economy in our area. Rural businesses make a vital contribution to the economy of Swindon and Wiltshire generating around 44% of annual economic output, more than £7bn each year and there’s potential for that to grow. "

He added: "We look forward to exploring potential opportunities for inward investment and export that might arise from this visit.”