Rural Diversity Network

The Rural Diversity Network was developed out of the ACE-supported Change Makers leadership programme and coordinated by Cornwall Museums Partnership.

Here are the top five things you need to know about the network:

  1. It was introduced in January 2017 at a seminal conference called Rethinking Diversity in Rural Regions at Wheal Martyn, Cornwall.  Culmination of work to understand diversity and barriers to cultural participation from a rural perspective.
  2. We’re trying to tackle geographic exclusion. Cultural policy around diversity is heavily centred on the visible diversity of big cities. The Network aims to balance this by providing a voice, another view and campaigning for equity (based on Defra’s idea of rural proofing).
  3. Time and cost of travel supersedes other barriers including those related to protected characteristics. This also has a socio-economic/class dimension.
  4. Investment in culture in the rural regions is biased towards creating an offer for tourists resulting in inclusion challenges for organisations engaging with local communities and communities of interest.
  5. There are approximately 55 members across arts and culture, including users, predominantly in Cornwall at present but also from rural regions in England, Scotland, Wales and the USA (Texas)

Common aims set out from consultations:

  • Representation and advocacy to policy makers and stakeholders (including communities and their anchors).
  • A place to put diversity into practice – training activities to help us apply practical diversity in our businesses and programmes
  • Networking, with each other and with each other’s organisations to find common cause
  • A safe space to challenge and be challenged, including having difficult conversations without giving or taking offence
  • Use Cornish diversity as action learning that others can draw comparison from, particularly how the Cornish National Minority intersects with other categories of diversity.


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