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Research and Other Publications

ACT uses the evidence collected through its work with communities, research activities and consultation events, such as the Cumbria Rural Forum, to produce a range of reports and publications. We are experienced in developing and delivering research projects in collaboration with partners from all sectors and particularly with communities.

ACT Annual Review 2015-2016

ACT's Annual Review highlights how we fulfill our mission to Champion community and rural issues, and support communities to: plan for their future; develop projects; work with others; and influence and change policy.

Rural Briefings

Cumbria Rural Forum, facilitated by ACT, provides individuals and agencies with an opportunity to come together to discuss issues of concern to rural life. Briefing papers are produced as a result of each forum event.

Evidencing Rural Need project

Developed by Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE), and Oxford Consultants for Social Inclusion (OCSI), the Evidencing Rural Need project provides information showing the real socio-economic picture of rural England – its areas of deprivation, the economy, and access to services. Individual Cumbrian Parish Profile reports are available from our Parish Profiles page.  More information about the project can be found on the Evidencing Rural Need website

The State of Rural Cumbria Report - Dec 2013

This report has been compiled using  Rural Evidence data published by Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) and Oxford Consultants for Social Inclusion (OCSI). Datasets for all rural communities in England have been developed, and comprehensive Parish Profile reports.

The purpose of this report is to explore the use of the Rural Evidence data to improve our understanding of key issues affecting rural Cumbrians. The following key issues have been chosen for analysis:  An ageing population; Too few young people; Disadvantage; Health; and Rural Living.

The State of Rural Cumbria Report - Fuel Poverty Update - February 2014 produced using updated Fuel Poverty data.

Community Climate Change Adaptation 2013

A proposed model for climate change adaptation and community resilience in a rural setting. Climate change will have a significant impact on the Lake District. Thinking through what changes could occur and how we can respond will assist communities to become more resilient and able to respond. An Executive Summary is also available and Adapting to Climate Change in Ullswater - 2013 illustrates the best ways that a rural community like Ullswater can adapt to Climate Change.

Planning for your Community's Future in Cumbria - 2013

Working with the Cumbria Association of Local Councils and the nine planning authorities in the county, this document provides information that will assist Parishes to decide whether Neighbourhood Planning is an initiative of benefit to their community.

Supporting Change in the Development of Community Resilience in Cumbria 2012-2017

A report on the research project to establish the scope and potential for developing community resilience in Cumbria between 2012 and 2017.

Big Society Vanguard Final Report August 2011 

The project was initiated by partners because they recognised the opportunity presented by the establishment of a rural Big Society Vanguard initiative in the Eden Valley, a result of the advocacy of Rory Stewart MP.  They particularly wished to record local experience and to disseminate practical lessons learned in order that other communities might benefit.

The Rural Challenge in Cumbria 2010

This paper summarises six key issues that participants in the Cumbria Rural Forum identified as those which they consider to be the greatest challenges to the future of rural communities.  The paper reflects evidence drawn from day to day contact with rural Cumbrians and published research and data produced by government agencies, local authorities and other third parties.

The Rural Share of Deprivation in Cumbria - Exec Summary 2010

Rural Cumbria has much to commend itself as a place to live. However, the true level of deprivation encountered by many rural residents has not been fully recognised or acted upon. Due to the dispersed nature of this population, traditional methods of defining disadvantage have not been relevant and simple “one size fits all” solutions cannot be applied. The research summarised here reveals the full extent of deprivation in rural Cumbria.

You can only be ill on Wednesday - 2010

A qualitative study of rural people’s perspectives on health related problems and the needs of rural communities. Commissioned during the Closer to Home debates, with relevance to the localisation of services.

Crosthwaite Exchange Guide - 2009

The Exchange at Crosthwaite is a shining example of effective community action in the face of the loss of rural services. This Guide describing how the Exchange was established and operates was compiled by the committee of the Exhange at Crosthwaite with the help of ACT (previously Voluntary Action Cumbria) so that communities facing this challenge can copy their example.

Pathways of Influence Full Report - 2008

Produced following activity looking at how communities can take the evidence and conclusions of their local planning activity and use this to secure the strategic actions that are necessary if the needs identified are to be met. Pathways of Influence Summary - 2008  summarises findings from talking with communities and partners in the community led planning process.

Migrant Workers Research Calls to Action 2008

The final report in a series of publications produced in response to an increase in the number of migrant workers in Cumbria. Mapping of Advice and Support Needs in Cumbria for Migrant Workers was published in June 2007 and Migrant Workers Research quality of life interviews in October 2007.

A Loss for Everyone - 2007

Rural services are increasingly under threat. This Report and accompanying Local Services Under Threat poster - 2007 offer communities and service providers ideas for how to work together to manage change constructively.

Latest News

Celebrating Award Winning Village Halls

13 September 2017

Celebrating Award Winning Village Halls

Celebrating Award Winning Village Halls

Volunteers from six Community Buildings around Cumbria were presented with achievement awards by ACTion with Communities in Cumbria (ACT) at their recent AGM. Over 50 people attended the event at Sedbergh People’s Hall, celebrating the enormous contribution which Village Hall volunteers make to the communities they serve. 

Medical Services and Transport needed by rural people

8 August 2017

Medical Services and Transport needed by rural people

From the 1,000 responses so far in the Cumbria Rural Panel Survey, the top priorities are: access to medical services, the need for transport services and affordable housing. Good Broadband and access to a village shop are also scoring highly. The survey being promoted by ACTion with Communities in Cumbria (ACT) is asking rural Cumbrian residents which services are important to them.  The results will be used to provide a focus for the discussions of the Cumbria Rural Panel. The survey ask respondents to pick three services, from a list of eight, that are the most important to rural life and then asks people to identify the one thing that would improve life in rural Cumbria.

Cumbria Panel Rural Survey

4 July 2017

Cumbria Panel Rural Survey

ACTion with Communities in Cumbria (ACT) is asking rural Cumbrian residents what services are important to them.  The brief survey being used will provide a focus for the first discussions of the Cumbria Rural Panel.

New Emergency Planning guide for Cumbrian Households

27 June 2017

New Emergency Planning guide for Cumbrian Households

ACTion with Communities in Cumbria (ACT) is encouraging households across the county to consider how to be better prepared in the event of an emergency and has produced a simple Household Emergency Plan leaflet to help.

Prince's Countryside Fund supports resilience in Community Buildings

4 April 2017

Prince's Countryside Fund supports resilience in Community Buildings

Volunteers from across the county have met with ACTion with Communities in Cumbria to discuss how village halls and other community buildings can be more resilient.

ACT champions community and rural issues, and sees community buildings as a critical part of vibrant, sustainable rural life. Funding from the Prince’s Countryside Fund is supporting ACT to develop a toolkit to help community buildings manage risks and be more resilient.

Chancellor urged to issue Budget VAT refund to village hall charities

30 March 2017

Chancellor urged to issue Budget VAT refund to village hall charities

ACTion with communities in Cumbria is urging the Government to pledge £3 million in the Budget to refund the VAT paid by village halls on improvement work such as modern kitchen and toilet facilities and new meeting rooms. 

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