Birkbeck, University of London > Business services > Case studies > Research for the Commission for Rural Communities

Research for the Commission for Rural Communities

Consultant: Professor John Shepherd, Department of Geography, Environment and Development Studies

The Geography Department at Birkbeck has been working on the social and economic well-being of small rural towns since 1997, when it won a research contract with the then Countryside Agency on Indicators of Prosperity for market towns.

Since then, the Rural Evidence Research Centre in the Department has undertaken a number of research studies on rural towns. To facilitate this important work, the RERC developed a methodology for interpolating information from census and other data units to small towns and has built up a large database of social, economic and environmental information on such places which has been called upon by various contractors.

This particular study involved delivering three types of data to the Commission for Rural Communities:

  • multiple deprivation
  • access to services
  • recent growth in the numbers of households