More than 130 people attended a celebratory event at Bishop Burton College to mark the 20th anniversary of the East Riding of Yorkshire Rural Partnership.
With more than 60% of the population of the East Riding living in rural communities, the council established a rural partnership in 1998 to ensure that the 'rural voice' was heard by government and that the needs of people living in the countryside were addressed.
The East Riding of Yorkshire Rural Partnership is one of the most enduring forums in the UK, covering economic, social and environmental matters.
Members represent organisations from the public, private, voluntary and community sectors. Working together, they inform policy makers, lobby for resources and share knowledge and best practice. The rural partnership has also delivered a rural strategy for the East Riding for the past two decades.
The event at Bishop Burton College, which was hosted by broadcaster Blair Jacobs, saw a range of guest speakers talking on a number of issues including building a rural powerhouse, how important rural businesses, including agriculture, are in the local economy, maximising the potential of the environment and meeting rural housing and service needs.
Sir Ian Macdonald of Sleat, chairman of the East Riding of Yorkshire Rural Partnership, said: "I have been involved with the rural partnership since it started in 1998. As its chairman, my priority has been to bring people together so that we can work jointly to champion rural issues and make sure that the needs of our rural communities are met.
"Working together in partnership has yielded great results over the last 20 years and means we are better equipped today to meet the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. We look forward to many more years of this important work."
Councillor Jane Evison, cabinet portfolio holder for transforming lifestyles at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: "The work of the rural partnership over the past two decades has been incredibly significant and has helped champion the priorities of rural communities across the East Riding.
"Ensuring the sustainability of these towns and villages is important as they are often the home to many small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) which are the lifeblood of the East Riding economy and also for social reasons, we need to make sure that people have homes to live in and that they can access the services they need."
For more information about the rural partnership and its work, visit www.eastriding.gov.uk/council/working-with-our-partners/rural-partnerships-and-forums/rural-partnership/
Delegates at the 20th Anniversary Celebration event for the East Riding of Yorkshire Rural Partnership at Bishop Burton College
Sir Ian Macdonald of Sleat and Councillor Jane Evison