This paper investigates how the availability of services and amenities influences levels of community cohesion in rural England. Specifically, we measure levels of community cohesion in selected rural parishes between two points of time (2000 and 2010) using an index of indicators based on the presence or absence of retailers and amenities. Results of this analysis provide empirical evidence that the presence of facilities and services has a considerable impact on residents in rural areas, suggesting a significant relationship between the presence of small retailers and social engagement in the English countryside. We discuss these findings with regard to policies and initiatives that could enhance the positive impact that services and amenities operating within villages and rural hamlets have on local communities.
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