Chapter 6Ready or not

The ageing of the market towns’ population

Rose Gilroy, Liz Brooks and Tim Shaw


In this chapter we take up the issue of demographic change, specifically the ageing of rural Britain and the emergence of some market towns as retirement destinations. The Rural White Paper (MAFF and DETR 2000: 73) saw market towns as ‘service centres and hubs for surrounding hinterlands’ with the potential to exploit their attractiveness as places ‘to live, work and spend leisure time’. While this sounds like a package that might prove attractive to older people, detailed discussion of how this revival might serve their interests or how older people might bolster such a vision was lacking.

The chapter begins by considering the evidence ...

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