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The contribution of rural community businesses to integrated rural development: “Local services for local people”

Tony Gore (), Ryan Powell and Peter Wells
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Tony Gore: Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research, Sheffield Hallam University, City Campus, Howard Street, Sheffield S1 1WB, UK
Ryan Powell: Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research, Sheffield Hallam University, City Campus, Howard Street, Sheffield S1 1WB, UK
Peter Wells: Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research, Sheffield Hallam University, City Campus, Howard Street, Sheffield S1 1WB, UK

Cahiers d'Economie et Sociologie Rurales, 2006, vol. 80, 29-52

Abstract: Policy responses to the problems facing rural areas across Europe have involved the replacement of “productivist” measures that subsidise agriculture to strategies promoting “integrated rural development”, emphasising the interconnections between various facets of the rural economy. Thus farm modernisation and product processing and marketing are linked with the promotion of a more diversified economic base centred on tourism and recreation and the maintenance of services for local residents. An essential element of this model is its reliance on collaborative actions involving a range of community or civil society actors. This paper examines the extent to which the operation of community-owned businesses in rural parts of the Yorkshire and Humber region in the UK corresponds to these ideals of integrated rural development. Evidence is presented on their geographical footprint with respect to both direct economic impacts and linkages with social and institutional networks. This allows an assessment to be made of the contribution that such enterprises make to rural economic development as a whole. The conclusion is that they do have the potential to assist integrated rural development, but only as a small part of a much wider series of economic, social and environmental actions.

Keywords: integrated rural development; rural community businesses; economic impacts; geographical footprint; volunteering (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2006
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