Five years after the Carnegie UK Trust published its Charter for Rural Communities, a follow up has been published to examine the changes in recent years. Prof. Mark Shucksmith was commissioned to compile the report and reached two conclusions. Firstly, rural areas benefit most from locally-tailored solutions which reflect conditions, capacity and capabilities within and around them. But local action is most effective when it follows a networked model, bringing together the local with national and international resources and support systems. Secondly, local action on its own is insufficient to overcome wider forces affecting rural change. Intervention is required to address persistent patterns of structural differentiation – such as the north-south divide in England or east-west contrasts in Ireland. There are risks of leaving unequal rural communities to their own devices and there is a clear role for an ‘enabling state’ supporting communities to reach their full potential.
The report can be found here: http://www.carnegieuktrust.org.uk/publications/2012/future-directions-in-rural-development---executive