Evidencing Rural Need

The Evidencing Rural Need project provides the summary information needed to effectively represent rural issues in local and regional programme strategy, planning and prioritization. Developed by ACRE, its members in ACRE's Network (including RAY), and Oxford Consultants for Social Inclusion (OCSI), it shows the real socio-economic picture of rural England - its areas of deprivation, the economy and access to services.

Rural Action Yorkshire is now able to make these reports available to our members, community and voluntary groups and local partners. They represent the most comprehensive source of data about rural Yorkshire communities available and as such are a vital resource for informing your priorities, project design and funding bids.

What is available?

There are a total of seven report types available; one covering a small local area and the others covering different topics on a larger regional basis. A description of each report type, and a sample report which can be downloaded free of charge to provide an idea of the sort of information available, are below.

You can see exactly which reports are available for your area by visiting the Evidencing Rural Need website, where all the reports are hosted, and searching by RCC (we're Yorkshire, at the bottom of the drop-down list) or place name.

Local area reports

1. Parish and Place Profiles

  • Highly relevant for support for community led and neighbourhood planning – giving quantitative and comparative evidence for small rural communities.
  • Areas covered: rural places (‘settlements’ as defined by Office for National Statistics), and parishes.

Rural Place Profile – Ropsley, Lincolnshire

Rural Place Profile – High Offley, Staffordshire

Larger area reports

2. Rural share of deprivation

  • Strategic influencing tool – to highlight the volume of rural deprivation locally.
  • Areas covered: local authorities (district, unitary, county), the regions, England as a whole and parliamentary constituencies. 

Rural Share of Deprivation Lancashire

3. Most deprived rural areas

  • Strategic influencing and operational tool – highlighting the level, location and characteristics of deprived rural areas.
  • Based on the Government Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) measure and the finer grained estimates developed by OCSI and our partners, Norfolk Rural Community Council
  • Areas covered: local authorities (district, unitary, county), regions and England, parliamentary constituencies.

 Deprived Rural Areas in Cambridgeshire

4. Rural Economy

  • Explores employment and jobs in rural areas including employment rates and jobs by sector and occupation.
  • Sets out the strength of the local economy, including the number, type and size of local business units, and levels of small and large businesses.
  • Highlights levels of unemployment and worklessness in the local rural economy, showing which groups (age and gender) are most likely to be receiving out-of-work benefits.
  • Areas covered: local authorities (district, unitary, county), Local Economic Partnerships (LEPs), parliamentary constituencies.

Rural Economy York North Yorkshire and East Riding LEP

5. Access to Services

  • Explores distance to services in rural areas, including key themes such as health and education.
  • Looks at travel times to key services by walking and public transport, highlighting hotspots with the greatest travel times to key services.
  • Highlights rural areas with high proportions of households lacking access to private transport (cars or vans). Breakdowns of car ownership for key equalities groups is also included.
  • Areas covered: local authorities (district, unitary, county), parliamentary constituencies.

 Access to Services Report – Suffolk Coastal

6. Health Profiles

  • Quantitive data on health issues for your area – both rural and urban reports.
  • Essential information for Health & Wellbeing Boards, Clinical Commissioning Groups and local council public health teams.
  • Robust data to help underpin effective planning, prioritisation and commissioning decissions for heath services.
  • Evidence to inform and strengthen local health services.
  • Areas covered: local authorities (district, unitary, county), Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Rural Health NHS North East West Devon CCG

7. Who’s there: Workplace and Daytime Profiles

  • Data report for targetting services to groups who are actually present in the day (rather than usual evidence on residential populations many of whom are out-commuters.
  • Areas covered: local authorities (district, unitary, county).

 Who’s there: Resident Workplace Shropshire


How can I get hold of the reports?

Rural Action Yorkshire members

RAY members can get their local rural place and / or parish profile*, and up to six larger area reports free of charge. The larger area reports must be for a geographical area that covers your address as it appears on our membership database.

Members may then purchase more reports at the discounted price of £10 each.

Example 1: a community group putting together a project to encourage healthy lifestyles in their area gets a copy of their local rural place / parish profile for free. They then request a copy of the health profile for each geographical level covering their area (district council, county council and Clinical Commissioning Group), plus a copy of the Rural Share of Deprivation, Most Deprived Rural Area and Access to Services reports for their area at District Council level, making up their total of six free larger area reports.

Example 2: a parish council is researching the needs of their communities to inform extra investment in local services. They receive their local rural place / parish profile and one of each of the larger area reports at District Council level, making up their full complement of free reports. In addition, they purchase rural place / parish profiles for two neighbouring parishes to enable comparisons to be made, and order an Access to Services Report at County Council and Parliamentary Constituency level, thus purchasing an additional four reports for a total of £100.

Members can also access a range of further resources to help them make full use of the reports, including over thirty case studies showing how the data has been used on a variety of projects, briefings on using the data to its full potential, and copies of presentations made by some of the people and organisations involved in creating the reports. Talk to us about your project and we will make sure you get the resources that will be of most use to you.

Non-member community and voluntary groups

Non-member community and voluntary groups can purchase their local rural place and / or parish profile*, and any larger area reports that include their own geographical location, at a price of £15 per report.

Membership of Rural Action Yorkshire is only £35 per year, so if you are a community or voluntary group wishing to access the Evidencing Rural Need reports, you will usually be better off if you join us! Click here for more information about RAY membership.

Local authorities, statutory bodies, businesses, infrastructure support organisations and other partners

Organisations other than RAY members or community groups can purchase up to three reports at a cost of £20 per report. If you are interested in purchasing more than three reports, we are happy to do so on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us directly to discuss your requirements by calling 0845 313 0270 or via email to our Information Officer in the first instance.

*if your community is covered by a rural place and a parish profile then both together count as one report. This does not apply to non-community or voluntary organisations.

Related stories

The Rural Services Network, a coalition of 260 member organisations, has published a comprehensive Manifesto for Rural England, calling on the next Government to take on a programme of action which would address the needs of rural communities across all departments and not leave it to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs alone.

Over the past few months Rural Action Yorkshire (RAY) has been developing a Rural Strategy to review the state of rural Yorkshire, highlight potential opportunities and challenges and suggest priority areas for future activity, both for us and for other organisations working in rural Yorkshire. We have been working in partnership with Humber and Wolds RCC to ensure we are able to present issues and ideas that have resonance across the whole of Yorkshire.