The survey is part of a bigger project to transform how innovation is delivered and supported in rural communities.
The Rural Design Centre, which is looking at ways to improve the economic and social outlook for communities around the country, brings together more than 40 key stakeholders with a common goal of strengthening the rural economy. The project is being trialled in the North East of England, and will then be rolled out around the UK.
Northumbrian farmer and businessman Lord Curry of Kirkharle is the chairman of the project. He said: “We have talked about concerns around rural housing for decades, and we know there are issues around affordability of housing, including for young people who have difficulty securing a home in competition with people who buy properties as second homes.
“We need homes for young people keen to grow their careers and businesses in the rural area.”
And he says an ageing population – which is a bigger issue in rural communities than in built up towns or cities – adds another layer to the issue.
Opinions gathered from the online survey will ensure that residents’ voices are heard, helping influence positive change in the community.
Lord Curry added that he hopes as many people as possible take part in the survey: “Nobody is excluded, everybody can take part, home owners, tenants, even if you don’t live rurally but have experience and a view, we want to hear from you.”
The Rural Design Centre is looking at the current and future housing challenges facing those living in all parts of rural Northumberland.
Among the questions being asked to help overcome these challenges and make the most of opportunities are:
What are the key concerns and worries of ageing residents and homeowners in rural Northumberland?
What do local people want to see when housing is designed for new build developments?
How can existing housing be improved to support rural living in the future?
How might homes and services adapt to the changing needs of residents throughout their lifetime?
How do we create and maintain community bonds across Northumberland when developing new residential areas?
How you can take part
The survey is now live and can be accessed here.
For more information on the Rural Design Centre, it’s mission, vision and development plan, visit: https://ruraldesigncentre.com/