29th October 2013, 12:44pm
Is the death of Britain’s rural communities inevitable?
A farmer at work A panel of academic experts will debate with members of the public the precarious status of Britain's cherished rural communities.

The University of Lincoln is hosting a public event to consider the changing shape of rurality in the UK, and what this means for families, businesses and politicians.

The debate, to be held at the University's Business & Law Building on the evening of 5th November 2013, challenges the panel and the public to consider the premise that "the death of the rural is inevitable". It is free to attend for anyone with an interest in the future of Britain's rural communities and economy.

The discussion will be fronted by four expert panellists who have each researched issues associated with rural life in Britain; Professor Nigel Curry, Professor Peter Somerville, Professor John Shepherd and Dr Keith Halfacree. They will present their contrasting views on the likely fate of Britain's rural communities. Audience members will be invited to pose their own questions to the panel and engage in the debate.

The event, part of the Economic and Social Research Council's (ESRC) Festival of Social Science 2013, has been organised by Dr Gary Bosworth, Director of Research in Lincoln Business School and a nationally-recognised voice on questions of rural development.

Dr Bosworth said: "The word 'rural' invokes strong emotions in people from many walks of life, and we can see this reflected in everything from tourism to town planning. It's also a word that has multiple meanings. This event aims to get people thinking about what it really means in 21st century Britain.
"Interpreting rurality is not just a point of academic interest. It's also crucial that policymakers' understanding of rural communities is based on reality, not picture postcard assumptions, because it is they who will determine the planning and economic policies which will decide the fortunes of these communities over the coming decades. This debate will help to inform our research on this fundamental question."

The public debate 'Interpreting Rurality' takes place at 6pm on Tuesday 5th November in the Business & Law Building on the University of Lincoln's Brayford Campus. Attendance is free but places are limited. To register, contact Susan Marango on: smarango@lincoln.ac.uk.
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