More affordable housing is needed in rural areas to keep vital village facilities open, campaigners have warned. A new report by the National Housing Federation has claimed a ‘handful of high quality and affordable homes’ could transform rural communities, which are being hit by the closure of local services, like schools, post offices and pubs. According to the report, 52 rural schools have shut their doors in the last five years and 81 post offices have closed since 2011. More than 1,365 pubs have closed since March 2013, which is the equivalent of seven a week. The report highlights the lack of new affordable housing, which is driving many young families and working-age people out of the countryside and highlights several examples where the intervention of a housing association has helped keep community facilities open. The Bernicia Housing Group was able to keep the primary school on Holy Island open … (To read the full article, subscribe below)

Jamie Hailstone

Senior reporter – NewStart