Skip to main content

Social and Economic Research Unit

Social and Economic Research Unit

Social and Economic Research Unit

Welcome to our new Social and Economic Research Unit. Explore our reports for insight into some of the most pressing issues affecting Cornwall's people and local communities today - from work and education to community life and job prospects.

On this website, you'll find two kinds of report. Our full reports - from ourselves and partner organisations - collect together recent data about different aspects of Cornwall’s socio-economic landscape. Our State of Cornwall reports share insights from practitioners and academics about what they are witnessing and experiencing in contemporary Cornwall.

Full Reports

The State of Cornwall: What we currently know about our socio-economic landscape

  • 'The State of Cornwall' is a new report from the Institute of Cornish Studies, which brings together the latest research into the social and economic issues affecting Cornwall today.
  • We know that beyond Cornwall’s scenery and visitor attractions, we have considerable poverty and inequality. Equally we have massive social and economic potential, cultural possibilities and environmental activism. 
  • However, despite some noteworthy research projects, our knowledge of the ‘State of Cornwall’ is partial and fractured. Our new Social and Economic Research Unit was set up to try to address this knowledge gap through social and economic research.
  • The ‘State of Cornwall’ project is our first step. Our intention is to scope the overall picture in Cornwall, from the perspective of organisations working within it. What do they see as the main problems we face and what might be a way forward? Where should our research priorities lie?

Read the full report here >>

A Basic Income for Cornwall 

University of Exeter researchers teamed up with Autonomy, to find out how a basic income could reduce poverty and improve living standards in Cornwall.   

Key findings:

  1. A basic income in Cornwall could drastically reduce poverty rates in the region, and redress the ongoing consequences of inequality.
  2. A more introductory basic income – at a much lower cost – could still almost halve poverty in Cornwall.
  3. Cornish stakeholders interviewed were optimistic about the prospect of a basic income.

» Read the key findings from this report

Addressing Local Needs in Bodmin: a report from Bodmin Town Council

Key points:

  • Like other towns in the UK, Bodmin suffers from the broad effects of deprivation.
  • The town experiences low-income levels, low employment levels and elevated levels of poor health, disability and homelessness.
  • Bodmin Town Council plan to revitalise the town, by placing innovation and community at the heart of future developments. 

» Read the full report to find out more

State of Cornwall Reports

Careers Hub Cornwall and Isles of Scilly: Understanding Local Labour Needs and Careers Education

Key findings:

  1. Cornwall has significant potential job opportunities in sectors such as data & space, visitor economy, digital, creative, marine and clean energy, to name a few.
  2. Careers Leaders, who can help young people to understand what jobs are available, require more time and resource to devote to their significant and challenging roles.
  3. To ensure Cornwall's young people are aware of the opportunities available to them, we need to keep building networks, equip Careers Leaders with the right skills and qualifications, make better use of data to understand how aspirations' align with labour market opportunities, and make sure that delivery in schools is up-to-date and impactful.  

» Read more about this project 

Renewable Energy in Cornwall

Professor Richard Cochrane, Associate Professor for Renewable Energy, University of Exeter (Penryn Campus)

Key points:

  • Cornwall has a long history of pioneering energy developments, and was the site of the country's first wind farm.
  • Currently, Cornwall is leading energy developments in hot rocks and offshore wind turbines.

» Read the full report here 

Foodbanks in Cornwall 

Key points:

  • Nearly 900 people were fed by Truro Foodbank in 2022 (so far), up from 463 in 2019.
  • The main reason for food bank referral is 'low income'; the second is 'benefits'.
  • Moving forward, we need more information about the true cost of living in Cornwall, and research into how Universal Basic Income in Cornwall could help those in need. 

» Read the full report here