School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape

News Item

New research to understand rural poverty in Britain

Led by Professor Mark Shucksmith, the Centre for Rural Economy has been awarded a share of the first round of funding for work on tackling financial problems and improving living standards.

The Centre is one of five organisations that have been selected to share a total of just under £600,000 as part of the first round of funding from the Standard Life Foundation.

The research team, which will be led by Professor of Planning, Mark Shucksmith, will investigate why and how people in rural areas experience and negotiate financial hardship. Over 18 months, the study will address a gap in knowledge about experiences and impacts of low income and financial vulnerability in rural Britain.

It will also look into how external processes and individual circumstances contribute to this and make recommendations for how these could be addressed.

The work, in partnership with Scotland’s Rural College and Impact Hub Inverness, will look at three areas: Harris and Perthshire in Scotland, and Northumberland.

Professor Shucksmith said: "Financial hardship and social exclusion affect many households in rural Britain, even though poverty is widely perceived as an urban problem. In this study we will investigate people’s experience of financial vulnerability in a range of rural contexts, and gain an understanding of the economic and social processes behind this. We hope this study will provide an evidence base for practical action to tackle poverty and exclusion in rural Britain."

Mubin Haq, Chief Executive of Standard Life Foundation, said:

“We are delighted to embark on these new partnerships. Covering a diverse range of topics, the breadth of issues we are funding demonstrates that there are many ways to address financial problems and improve living standards. Together these projects have the potential to contribute to real strategic change for people on low-to-middle incomes.”

Wooler Northumberland
Wooler, Northumberland

published on: 21 June 2019