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 The Commission for Rural Communities’ work was founded on a strong and well respected rural evidence base. Here, it is possible to access some of the core reports, data and statistics produced between 2006 and 2011.

Rural Disadvantage

When the Commission was launched in March 2005, we announced that we would undertake a major baseline study on rural disadvantage. The study examined the nature of rural disadvantage, why it occurs, the policy responses and their impact. Together, this package provided a strong body of evidence on the reality of rural disadvantage and a clear indication of where action was most urgently needed. Many of the identified priorities for action remain relevant today.

To accompany Rural Disadvantage, a Rural Disadvantage – Futures Thinkpiece was produced by the Future Foundation for the CRC, and summarised contemporary thinking about the future of disadvantage in rural areas.

High ground, High potential : a future for England’s upland communities

The aim of our Inquiry into the uplands was ‘to identify and evaluate the drivers of change in upland communities, and to develop policy recommendations to enable and equip them to move towards more secure, economically prosperous and sustainable futures’. The full report from this work can be found here, with a short summary here.

The Rural Big Society

The Big Society approach is already alive and well in many of our rural villages and market towns. But there’s a lot more that could be done to help.

The CRC and Respublica have worked together to develop this briefing paper,  based on engagement with a broad cross section of rural interest groups. It  looks at the value of the Big Society approach to rural communities and makes a series of recommendations for action.

Rural and urban definitions
Defining ‘rural areas’ is a complicated and sometimes contentious issue. Here the Commission for Rural Communities provides an overview of how different geographies are officially defined for analytical purposes.

State of the countryside
The latest comprehensive information on the social, economic and environmental condition of rural England.

10 Big Numbers

Headline facts covering a range of factors affecting fundamental aspects of living and working in rural areas. These facts are regularly updated and are based on robust and widely understood data sources.

Rural Proofing – Toolkit

Rural proofing is a commitment by Government to ensure domestic policies take account of rural circumstances and needs. It’s a mandatory part of the policy process, which means as policies are developed, policy makers should:

  • consider whether their policy is likely to have a different impact in rural areas, because of particular circumstances or needs
  • make proper assessment of those impacts, if they’re likely to be significant
  • adjust the policy where appropriate, with solutions to meet rural needs and circumstances

Rural proofing applies to all policies, programmes and initiatives and it applies to both design and delivery stages. The Government is committed to making rural proofing a reality at national and regional levels.


Page last modified: January 31, 2013