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How our villages are fighting to stay alive
The Observer has used our research to show how villages in rural England are changing.
In an interview with the paper, Stuart Burgess, our chair and the Government's Rural Advocate, highlights how technology is allowing high levels of innovation, creating 'a boom in home working, business start-ups and high levels of entrepreneurship.'
Stuart's recent report to the Prime Minister 'England's rural areas: steps to release their economic potential' set out a package of practical proposals to improve support for people and enterprises in the rural business sector to help them realise their potential.
However, the loss of services such as post offices, schools, GP surgeries, banks and shops can have a devastating effect on rural communities.
'Once one key service is withdrawn, the knock-on effect is that other amenities will edge towards closure as well. And once closures have reached a tipping point, or critical mass, the life of a village is put at serious risk.'
Our recent publication 'Planning for Sustainable Rural Communities: The Big Picture' describes the changes we believe are needed to policies and practice to make progress towards making rural communities more sustainable.