In March 2023, Professor Mark Shucksmith from Newcastle University presented findings from research about hardship and vulnerability in rural areas at an event at the Cheviot Centre in Wooler.
The research raised 9 challenges:
- Many rural residents are at risk of poverty
- There is a real rural cost of living crisis
- The welfare system is not well adapted to rural lives
- Rural work opportunities are often volatile and irregular
- There are barriers to entering self-employment and developing small businesses in rural areas
- Centralisation and digitalisation in the organisations providing support mean they do not reach well into rural areas
- Accessing suitable and affordable housing in rural areas remains difficult
- There is a crisis in social care delivery in rural areas.
- Developing a hopeful narrative about an area is important to the well-being of rural areas