Rural idyll? Not for some says new report looking at life in Cumbria's villages and hamlets

MANY rural Cumbrians have issues with isolation and access to services which is a challenge to everyday living, according to a 'state of the county' report.

ACTion with Communities in Cumbria (ACT) says while there are areas with a good quality of life, there are also places where limited access to key services, low population figures, and isolation are challenges.

It has issued the report to 'improve the understanding of key issues affecting Cumbria’s rural residents'.

Lorrainne Smyth, ACT Chief Executive based in Penrith, said: "This data will assist policy makers and project planners to be aware of the rural statistics for the 52 per cent of the people who live in rural areas across the county.

“Rural communities are resilient and competent at meeting local needs, however, sometimes the challenges they face are more than can be taken on, and support is needed from others outside the community.

"This data highlights where policy makers could be targeting that additional support. It is also vital information in planning for the future to make rural living more sustainable.”

The report uses data including the 2011 Census to explore issues such as the ageing population, too few young people, disadvantage, health and rural living.

The report shows that

* 57 per cent of people aged over 65 in Cumbria live in rural areas

* 52 per cent of lone person households are in rural Cumbria

* Over 11,000 of these people live more than 30 minutes from a main service centre or town.

The report also found that of the 16,450 people who are known to work from home, 78.7% or 13,020 are in rural areas.

The State of Cumbria Report has been produced following analysis of individual parish profile reports published by Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) and Oxford Consultants for Social Inclusion (OCSI), as part of the Rural Evidence project.

 

The report and parish profiles can be found at www.cumbriaaction.org.uk/ResourcesPublications

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