James Evans has asked the Welsh Government to consider setting up a development board for rural Wales.

The Brecon and Radnorshire MS said at the Senedd that a cross-party group has produced a report on growth in the rural economy.

He said the report presented a number of recommendations, one of which was establishing a development board in rural Wales to help facilitate rural growth, set a clear strategy and set infrastructure targets on how rural Wales can be improved.

Mr Evans told First Minister Mark Drakeford: “A lot of constituents I spoke to when we had the old rural development board said that it was very good and that a lot of the concerns that businesses had were listened to and actioned upon.

“One of the key recommendations in the report was re-establishing that. I'm interested in whether this is something that you would like to initiate from the Welsh Government.”

Mr Drakeford said he agreed with parts of the report but disagreed with others.

“It's going to be a report that deserves that sort of debate and consideration,” he said.

The First Minister said the report had some “interesting” and “very important” things to say on skills development in the rural economy but that he “didn't agree” with some things that it said about planning rules and rural tourism.

With regards to a rural development board, Mr Drakeford said he didn’t think that recreating in today's conditions something that was relevant in its time is the best way to proceed.

He said: “Just as James Evans has met people who tell him how good it was in the old days of the rural development board, I can remember, here on the floor of the Assembly, people being perfectly critical of that board at the time when it was in operation

“So, I don't think it's the best course of action to think that you can recreate, in today's conditions, something that was relevant

“The idea of a forum that can bring people together is different, and that's where the debate on the report would be most fruitfully held.”