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Alternative service delivery models in rural areas - RE0260

Delivering services through a “Big Society” model such as Community Ownership, Co-operatives or Mutualisation has become a more embedded part of the service delivery landscape.

These alternative models of service delivery vary in design, size and scope. Most are non-profit, relying upon a mixture of professional and voluntary staff to deliver their services. Many of these bodies work in an integrated way to deliver services in partnership with or for Local Authorities.

The Localism Bill offers the opportunity to transform the asset base of many rural communities – through a series of potentially transformative new community rights, such as the Community right to bid, Community Right to Build and a Community Right to Challenge.

The RCPU will investigate what services lend themselves to alternate provision within a rural context and what barriers exist to prevent these services from taking advantage of the range of delivery opportunities and partnerships available. It is also necessary to find out the real value and added benefits of these delivery models, especially for rural areas and how the business case can be better articulated.
The project has three objectives:
1. Provide updated evidence demonstrating “Big Society” alternative approaches to service delivery in rural areas, building upon the report produced by Rural Innovation Collaboration and Innovation in Rural Service Delivery
2. Identify optimum operational conditions for alternative delivery models to deliver successfully in rural areas and identify the barriers which prevent further expansion of such service delivery models
3. Share learning from existing examples of alternative service delivery models both successful and unsuccessful
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : Final Defra ASD Report   (2518k)
• IR - Interim Report : Alternative Rural Service Delivery Interim Report   (1252k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2013

To: 2013

Cost: £35,375
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University of the West of England
Rural Development              
Fields of Study
Rural Affairs