Building Rural Futures in the Yorkshire Dales

Client: Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority

On the map: Yorkshire Dales, UK

Core values: Rural future-proofing and Community

Status: In progress

The story: The Dales are more than just beautiful views. Tens of thousands of people call them home. Sadly, more young people are moving out of the area than are moving in. For example, the 16-34 population is 17.5% in the Lakes and Dales compared to 26% nationally. Why are they leaving? The lack of affordable housing, limited employment opportunities and poor infrastructure, mean rural life is unattractive if not impossible for many young people. While there are many reasons they are turning their backs on rural life, the impact is clear. Their departure threatens the future of the Dales as a viable and vibrant place to live and work. Encouraging younger generations to make the Dales their long-term home requires a radical new approach to rural housing. Simply increasing housing supply is not enough.

Commissioned by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, the pattern book explores ‘local distinctiveness’ and its importance when boosting housing supply. Through combining a palette of local forms, colours, crafts, materials and textures with modern design, techniques and innovations we can create high-quality, affordable and sustainable homes to support a growing, diverse and resilient local economy. They have the potential to transform life across the Yorkshire Dales National Park, creating the dynamic rural communities of the future.