Future of Rural Areas

Rural communities contribute a great deal to the national economy but are facing threats to their future. This is due to a combination of chronic underfunding, demographic challenges, diminishing resources, with the needs of rural areas being systematically overlooked. Without action, conditions in rural areas will deteriorate further.

It is in the national interest that we all work together to revitalise this fundamental national asset. All communities can face issues in relation to low wages, poor access to health services, poor transport options and difficulties in accessing training and educational opportunities however in rural areas, due to its often remote location, these issues can become compounded, leading to Rural Vulnerability.

Rural areas have a higher than average number of older residents and this figure is increasing rapidly. Public services need to work together to combat the issues relating to Rural Vulnerability to ensure that rural residents are not left disadvantage.


  • £200 million for fibre in rural areas - The Govt is committing £200m to pilot approaches to full fibre rollout in rural areas starting in primary schools and with vouchers for nearby homes and businesses.
  • Over £500 million for local roads.
  • Village halls: The Govt is committing £3m to help village halls in England with the cost of repairs. Village halls tend to have low incomes, and repair costs can be a significant burden. Budget announces a new grant scheme to help towards the costs of refurbishment.
  • Public toilets: The government is announcing a 100% business rates relief for both publicly and privately-owned standalone public lavatories in England. Up to 3,500 facilities could benefit from this measure.
  • Affordable housing: They will provide £8.5 million to support up to 500 parishes to allocate or permission land for homes sold at a discount, and will explore how to ensure these homes are offered first to people with a direct connection to the neighbourhood.
  • Housing Revenue Account cap: Abolish the cap that controls local authority borrowing for house building from 29 October. This will enable councils to increase building to around 10,000 homes per year.

Further details are available on the RSN website.  Please click on the link below.

Rural Services Network - Budget Review