Upland Limestone

Gill Robinson
Co-ordinator, DARE (Dales Action for Rural Enterprise)

Employment in the Dales:
There are jobs in the area but many of them are low paid and part time - they’re linked very much to the tourist industry because the Yorkshire Dales is a very attractive place. We get lots and lots of tourists throughout the year, not just in the summer. But employers seem to take on young people only in the busiest summer months in part time work and low paid work. Of course, traditionally a lot of young people would expect to carry on farming on the family farm. Well with the problems being faced by agriculture at the moment, that’s not a viable option anymore because the farms aren’t viable businesses. Therefore they can’t sustain extra incomes. The young people are automatically thinking that they have to go and move out of the area to find jobs and that’s what will happen. There will be an out-migration of young people which would be a nightmare for the communities because the communities will die. There won’t be any young people left in the Dale and that’s why DARE was born; to try and help address that issue, to encourage young people to stay in the Dales.

Local people’s needs:
It’s got to be a balancing act - it’s great that the tourists come, we welcome them. They bring money into the area, they’re a vital part of the economy. But you’ve got to balance that against the needs of the local people. They must be catered for… newspapers, garages, petrol, smallish supermarkets - obviously large supermarkets don’t fit into the environment so we can’t have those. Some would say that’s a shame, some might not!

Opportunities for young people:
The young people I’ve spoken to almost without exception, have commented that their rural isolation is the main barrier to success because there is such a lack of access to services and resources. Of course they’re difficulties that are being faced by the agricultural sector as well means that on many farms agriculture alone no longer sustains a viable business or employment prospect. They have told me that unless projects like DARE exist and people like the Princes Trust and DARE are there to help them, then the out-migration of young people from the area will increase and in turn lead to the eventual demise of many of the rural communities.