More and more people in Europe are concerned about this massive rural exodus of population in search of work in the big cities; and that has been accelerated by the crisis generated as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, leaving behind authentic ‘ghost towns’ abandoned to their fate.

However, there are those who have already begun to remedy this problem. This is the case of the inhabitants of the town of Trawden, in the county of Lancashire in the United Kingdom, who have come together to buy and manage the grocery store, the library, the post office and the bar.

The neighbors have managed to prevent it from becoming a ghost town. Decades ago, Trawden was a crowded town with a thriving textile industry that kept the inhabitants employed. But the closure of local businesses caused the factory and its mills to close their doors in the 1970s.

However, the fortunes of the town changed in 2014 when the British state offered to buy the community center for the symbolic price of 1 pound sterling. Today it is a place where all kinds of classes are given and its facilities are used for religious or civil celebrations.

The Trawden Arms Community Pub in the town of Trawden. (Photo: Trawden Arms Community Pub Facebook)

The library, the shop and the bar

“I think this is the way to go for people like this. These actions are very successful and are also sustainable, while perhaps in the hands of private companies they are not, ”Stephen Wilcock, president of Trawden Community Trust told the local daily Lancashire Live.

From there, in 2017 they bought the library and turned the health center into a staple food store, where more than 100 local volunteers work two-hour shifts, while a postman visits the store once a week. to deliver packages and letters.

They also acquired the Trawden Arms, the 126-year-old bar that went up for sale last year. Neighbors raised 660,000 euros to buy it. Of the 1,919 residents, 400 bought shares and all proceeds will be invested to run the bar for the next three years.