Brexit: implications for the rural North of England

Cowie, Paul, Mulvey, Gail ORCID logo ORCID: , Peck, Frank ORCID logo ORCID: and Shaw, Keith (2018) Brexit: implications for the rural North of England.

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This study has been commissioned by Northumberland County Council to consider the implications of Brexit on the rural north of England. Brexit is a ‘once in a generation’ event which will have a significant and long-lasting impact on all parts of the UK. The area covered by this report is primarily the rural parts of the county of Northumberland, but inevitably, what happens in the neighbouring areas will have a significant impact on rural Northumberland so a wider focus on the rural north is employed where necessary. The report’s structure is as follows. Following the Introduction, Chapter One sets out the wider context of the rural north, its economic and social profile and wider challenges and opportunities and locates the Northumberland economy within this. Chapter 2 looks specifically at policy literature on the potential implications of Brexit across a series of pan-regional, regional and local scales, while Chapter 3 provides a more in-depth analysis of the key sectors relevant to Northumberland’s rural strategy and the potential opportunities and constraints created by Brexit. The policy review considered both academic and policy documents. It looked at policy responses to Brexit on both a national and regional level coupled with a comprehensive sectoral analysis taking account of the most important sectors for the rural north east of England. This was then triangulated using the material gleaned from the primary data described in the next three chapters. Building on the material covered in the first 3 sections, Chapter 4 explains how a foresight methodology was used to engage a panel of experts from across the region in imagining what rural Northumberland will be like in 2030. This panel of experts wasset the seemingly simple question of: “what will Brexit mean for the rural north of England?” Within this question, the complexity of Brexit soon reveals itself as the impact will be felt across all sectors of the economy and within every community in the region. To structure this seemingly impossible task, the Delphi Method was adopted. The Delphi Method provides a systematic way of thinking about the future. Chapter 5 captures how it first identifies the key drivers for change and then starts to build an understanding of the systems and processes that are driving change in the region. The final stage of the foresight process – contained in Chapter 6 - is to build a set of scenarios imagining what the rural north of England will be like in 2030. These are not intended to be predictions but are provocations to stimulate a debate about the kind of future to aim for and conversely the kind of future to avoid.

Item Type: Report
Departments: Institute of Business, Industry and Leadership > Business
Centre for Regional Economic Development (CRED)
Additional Information: Report prepared for Northumberland County Council and the Institute for Local Governance (ILG) by Northumbria University, Newcastle University and the University of Cumbria, UK.
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2018 10:36
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 20:46


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