Commercial counterurbanisation: an emerging force in rural economic development

Bosworth, Gary (2010) Commercial counterurbanisation: an emerging force in rural economic development. Environment and Planning A, 42 (4). pp. 966-981. ISSN 0308-518X

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1068/a42206

Abstract

After rapid urban growth and industrialisation, the postwar era has seen counterurbanisation become a dominant demographic trend in the UK. Much has been written about the residential patterns of counterurbanisation, but the associated growth of rural business has attracted less
attention. The author proposes the term `commercial counterurbanisation' to describe the growth of rural economies stimulated by inward migration. In the North East of England, in-migrants own over half of rural microbusinesses, they are more growth-oriented, and they are responsible for considerably more employment than the whole of the agriculture sector. In arguing that commercial
counterurbanisation is more than just a spatial decentralisation of business activity, the author
explores the social as well as the economic motivations of `counterurbanising' business owners. Commercial counterurbanisation can be a two-stage process, as the decision to work in a rural area or run a rural business may occur several years after a residential move. Where this time lag exists, in-migrant business owners will be influenced by different factors in different locations. In the context of neoendogenous development, the balance of local and extralocal forces is particularly significant.
This leads to the conclusion that in-migrant business owners need to become embedded into the rural community for the wider rural economy to realise the maximum benefits from commercial counterurbanisation.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:After rapid urban growth and industrialisation, the postwar era has seen counterurbanisation become a dominant demographic trend in the UK. Much has been written about the residential patterns of counterurbanisation, but the associated growth of rural business has attracted less attention. The author proposes the term `commercial counterurbanisation' to describe the growth of rural economies stimulated by inward migration. In the North East of England, in-migrants own over half of rural microbusinesses, they are more growth-oriented, and they are responsible for considerably more employment than the whole of the agriculture sector. In arguing that commercial counterurbanisation is more than just a spatial decentralisation of business activity, the author explores the social as well as the economic motivations of `counterurbanising' business owners. Commercial counterurbanisation can be a two-stage process, as the decision to work in a rural area or run a rural business may occur several years after a residential move. Where this time lag exists, in-migrant business owners will be influenced by different factors in different locations. In the context of neoendogenous development, the balance of local and extralocal forces is particularly significant. This leads to the conclusion that in-migrant business owners need to become embedded into the rural community for the wider rural economy to realise the maximum benefits from commercial counterurbanisation.
Keywords:Counterurbanisation, Rural development, Rural economy
Subjects:L Social studies > L721 Economic Geography
N Business and Administrative studies > N100 Business studies
Divisions:College of Social Science > Lincoln Business School
ID Code:2716
Deposited By: Gary Bosworth
Deposited On:22 Jun 2010 20:10
Last Modified:04 Dec 2013 20:45

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