Rural Connective seeks to develop collaborations between academics, small businesses and communities which will champion the use of digital technologies and superfast broadband access in the context of rurality and connectivity.
Recognising the differences characterising 'the rural' in Cornwall and Scotland where the two main academic partners for the project are based, Rural Connective pays particular attention to the factors that have shaped those areas and how they influence creative and cultural environment.
This inclusive approach takes in more than just the geographic location and landscape features of the areas in question: it also considers the ecology of rural communities, ways of being and the impact and influence of local businesses in creating a culturally vibrant and creative environment.
Between June and December 2012, a series of workshops took place (three in Cornwall, one in Aberdeenshire). The aim of these workshops was to connect people and ideas and generate new collaborative research initiatives.
Industry professionals and other stakeholders were invited to explore how cultural and creative capital can be enhanced in rural communities through the availability of superfast broadband.
Number of areas of interest have been identified and researchers and participants of the workshops are currently working together to develop those into well definded projects proposals which can then seek funding from external sources.
Partners and funders
Rural Connective is a partnership between Falmouth University, dot.rural (The Rural Digital Economy Research Hub) at The University of Aberdeen and BT. It is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
The team at Falmouth includes Professor Mike Wilson, Magdalena Tyżlik-Carver and Jem MacKay.