Rural gatekeepers and 'greentrified' Pennine rurality: opening and closing the access gates?

Darren Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper examines how 'rural gatekeepers' attempt to mediate processes of rural gentrification in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, UK. It is shown that promotional and steering strategies are interwoven, and embedded, within practices which seek to enable and constrain distinct population movements into gentrified housing and specific locations. To conceptualize the (re)production of distinct internal micro-geographies within Hebden Bridge, the paper transposes ideas from the urban managerial thesis into the rural context. This is positioned within local and regional ideological and institutional structures. More specifically, it is contended that estate agents influence the signification of social, cultural and economic capital, and the construction of distinct representations and discourses about Pennine rurality. Researchers are thus urged to investigate the role of intermediaries within the processes of rural gentrification to provide deeper insights into the unequal provision of, and accessibility to, housing for different social groups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-463
Number of pages17
JournalSocial and Cultural Geography
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2002


  • Rural change, greentrification, gatekeepers, estate agents


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