Research and analysis

Future of rural communities: discussion paper

Industry, academic and voluntary sector experts explored the opportunities and challenges that rural communities could face in the future.

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In 2014 the Cabinet Secretary’s Advisory Group asked the Horizon Scanning Programme Team and Defra to look into external experts’ views on the future of rural communities.

Sir Mark Walport invited a number of leading industry, academic and voluntary-sector experts to a meeting with permanent secretaries and chief scientific advisors. Attendees discussed issues that specifically impact on rural areas, including dispersed populations and connectivity to physical and virtual services. They also discussed issues that affect both rural and urban areas, but in different ways eg ageing, population growth and affordable housing.

This paper reports the main points discussed by external experts. It is not a statement of government policy.

Published 7 August 2015