Plunkett welcomes the publication of a new report published by the Prince’s Countryside Fund during National Countryside Week 2018.

The report provides much needed evidence of the challenges faced by ‘remote rural’ communities throughout the UK; highlights how communities are addressing these by taking action themselves; and makes practical recommendations as to what needs to happen to enable rural communities to become sustainable and resilient.

Plunkett has enjoyed a strong partnership with Prince’s Countryside Fund ever since its creation in 2010, having been both a beneficiary of its funding, helping new and existing rural community business to set up and thrive, as well as a partner working together to raise awareness of rural challenges and community-led solutions. The Recharging Rural report resonates so much with Plunkett’s experience of working with rural communities, and comes at a time where such evidence has been anecdotal for so many years in the absence of valuable reports such as the State of the Countryside Report which sadly ceased after the demise of the Commission for Rural Communities and the Countryside Agency, which came before that.

View one of the videos produced for the launch of the Recharging Rural report featuring St Tudy Community Shop below:

Plunkett Foundation’s Executive Director, James Alcock said “What was striking in the report was how the feeling of rural remoteness can be felt anywhere in the UK – it is not just a geographic definition. Again, this resonates with our own experience of rural isolation and loneliness, and why and how community businesses are so important in creating that inclusive social space regardless of how near or far they are away from towns and cities. It was also encouraging to read of the solutions that communities had turned to, and how the most common, a physical hub, could be transformative through provision of a focal point for the community and encouraging of sense of pride. A key recommendation that we will be taking forward is to work with partners and stakeholders in being more creative as to how community assets can be used, specifically with regard to multi-use and broader activities and services which meet local needs.”

The full report and executive summary can be downloaded via this link.