Executive Summary
Make your own book

THEME 1 New Opportunities for Rural and Peripheral Areas
Canal Link
North SEAfaring
CO 2

North Sea Rural Development Project
Project Aim

The project aimed to boost development in rural areas by inter-rural cooperation. It counterworked negative migration and development trends by finding innovative solutions concerning social and health services, transport and economic activities, which were identified as key issues for rural development.

NS Rural sought to achieve a more efficient use of public transport and the development of more sustainable transport options, an even distribution of social services regardless of the place of living as well as the stimulation of economic activities.

Project implementation and results

The activities were structured into the three main themes: public transport, social services and economic development. The basis of a cluster of local/small-scale producers and strategic alliances of SMEs has been developed and networks of companies based in rural areas were established. Through cross-sectoral cooperation NS Rural ensured a vital interaction on urban-rural and inter-rural levels. New services were established to support the everyday life of inhabitants in peripheral areas. As an example the “Smart Home” concept provides technical solutions such as fall detectors or flood sensors with centres responding if the alarm sets in to enable old people suffering from memory loss or physical incapacity to stay in their own home longer than it would otherwise have been possible.

Pilot activities
Through 15 pilot projects, NS Rural brought together experts and practicioners working with rural development. The pilots were focusing on e.g. improved public and private transport through new means of using ICT-systems, ensuring retention of key-skilled persons in the rural areas by providing better work-conditions or improving cross-sectoral planning between different units dealing with economic development. While the pilots started in single municipalities, as a second step implementation within the project was envisioned throughout the surrounding counties. All the pilots were bound to relate actively and were closely monitored.

Joint transnational strategy

Mode of cooperation
A cross-sectoral approach was at the core of the project. It contributed to an integrated understanding of the complexity and interdependency across the sectors, which is particularly pronounced in the rural areas. This broad understanding was vital for finding lasting solutions, which will secure a positive development.

Impact of the project

NS Rural developed services in all sectors that are crucial for rural development: transport, social welfare and economy.

Long-term achievements
The pilot projects were the concrete examples to be incorporated into the wider spatial strategies and future development in rural areas around the North Sea. Included in the NS Rural project was a research-package, which is of particular importance to the development of rural areas in the North Sea Region. This secured a broader perspective whereby important data, experiences and cross-sectoral aspects were shared by a wide cooperation.

VAFT-tour project in Viborg (DK): Your own bus from door to door


Landkreis Wesermarsch/Wirtschaftsförderung Wesermarsch GmbH, DE
Telemarks Fylkeskommune, NO
Västra Götalands Region, SE
Province of Fryslân, NL
Norfolk County Council, UK

Central Denmark Region

Project Manager

Henrik M. Jensen
Central Denmark Region
Skottenborg 26
DK-8800 Viborg
Tel: +45 8728 5096

Measure: 1.3

Start Date: 30 September 2003
End Date: 30 April 2007

ERDF Grant:
Total Eligible Sum:
The North Sea
Region Programme Secretariat
Jernbanegade 22, DK-8800 Viborg, DENMARK
Tel.: +45 8728 8070 | Fax: +45 8660 1680
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