Poverty is perceived as an urban problem, yet many in rural Britain also experience hardship. This book explores how and why people in rural areas experience and negotiate poverty and social exclusion. It examines the role of societal processes, individual circumstances, sources of support (markets; state; voluntary organisations; family and friends) and the role of place.
It concludes that the UK’s welfare system is poorly adapted to rural areas, with the COVID-19 pandemic, Brexit and cutbacks exacerbating pressures. Voluntary organisations increasingly fill gaps in support left by the state. Invaluable to those in policy and practice, the book recommends a combination of person-based and place-based approaches to tackle rural poverty.
“A significant and urgently needed study. The authors do a brilliant job of getting under the skin of the rural idyll and revealing the extent of rural poverty in Britain today.” Sarah Neal, University of Sheffield
“This important book makes visible the diversity, experience and widespread scale of rural poverty in the UK. All those responsible for the design and practice of welfare support systems should read this book and feel ashamed. A must-read for all those committed to redesigning fairer and kinder ways of providing welfare support.” Patsy Healey, Newcastle University and author of Caring for Place: Community Development in Rural England
“An essential and timely primer on the dynamics and experiences of rural poverty. Through a prism of financial hardship, this richly evidenced book explores poverty in place, with important insights for policy and practice.” Michael Woods, Aberystwyth University
Mark Shucksmith OBE is Professor of Planning at Newcastle University, Visiting Professor at Ruralis, Trondheim and a Trustee of ACRE and the Carnegie UK Trust.
Jayne Glass is Researcher in the Natural Resources and Sustainable Development group in the Department of Earth Sciences at Uppsala University and Honorary Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh.
Polly Chapman is CEO of HISEZ CIC, a social enterprise business consultancy which also operates Impact Hub Inverness, a co-working space that is part of the global Impact Hub network.
Jane Atterton is Senior Lecturer and Manager of the Rural Policy Centre at Scotland’s Rural College.
Foreword by Professor Sir Howard Newby
2. Poverty and social exclusion in rural Britain: a review
3. East Perthshire: an accessible rural area in Scotland
4. Harris: an island area of Scotland
5. The North Tyne valley, Northumberland: a remote area of England
6. Rural poverty in a pandemic: experiences of COVID-19
7. Changing sources of support: precarity, conditionality and social solidarity
8. Conclusions and policy implications