Rural Development

view over the Cheviots valley

Rural areas have undergone fundamental social, economic and technical change in the last few decades as a result of ongoing and new processes, including demographic and environmental change and a shifting policy and institutional landscape.

The Rural Development Research Group within the CRE has made influential theoretical and applied policy contributions to promote sustainable development, discussed usually as neo-endogenous rural development, which puts social justice and local contextualisation at the heart of the development process, but also acknowledges the opportunities of increasing regional and global interconnectedness for rural areas. This concept underpins the OECD’s thinking on rural development in advanced economies. Future work will focus on analysing the impacts and implications of these ‘local-global’ processes for rural areas. The group’s expertise on Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) was instrumental in broadening the scope of CAP subsidies beyond supporting agricultural production to greatly benefit the environment and rural economies. Members of the group were also responsible for directing the national Rural Economy and Land Use programme of research making the group one of the foremost centres for rural research in Europe. These contributions were recognised in the award to Newcastle University in 2013 of the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for excellence in rural development research.

The characteristics and performance of rural businesses and households will continue to be a central focus of our work, through such themes as rural governance, social and demographic change, and rural economies and cultures. Exploring the impacts of new challenges such as climate change adaptation, social policy shifts, and new governance arrangements will shape our future research projects. Our research focuses on the local, regional, national and trans-national scales of governance recognising the multi-levelled system in which rural areas now exist. Geographically, our work draws on close links with researchers across the OECD countries, particularly in the EU, US and Asia. We are one of five partners in The Trans-Atlantic Rural Research Network, a collaborative research network involving UK and USA Universities.

We place great importance on research which is responsive to social need and embedded in the policy landscape and value our many collaborations with voluntary and public organisations. We contribute to public policy debates, particularly through the publication of Policy and Practice Briefing Papers. A new series of policy and practice notes has been developed by CRE for the national Living With Environmental Change partnership and the notes are edited and produced at Newcastle. Furthermore, our researchers are committed to knowledge exchange and public engagement in rural development through the founding and ongoing support of the Northern Rural Network and the Landbridge Network.

Within the Rural Development theme, a number of sub-themes have been identified to further focus our work:

  • Agriculture, Climate Change and the Environment
  • Rural Planning, Communities and Governance
  • Rural Change, Social Justice and Wellbeing
  • Rural Economy and Innovation
  • Rural Cultures, Nostalgia and Identities


Dr Philip Dawson
Reader in Agricultural Economics

Dr Jeremy Robert Franks
Senior Lecturer

Guy Garrod
Reader in Environmental Economics

Dr Menelaos Gkartzios

Dr Carmen Hubbard

Dr Lionel Hubbard
Guest Member of Staff

  • Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6900

Anne Liddon
Science Communications Manager

Dr Elizabeth Oughton
Principal Research Associate

Jeremy Phillipson
Reader in Rural Enterprise

Dr Amy Proctor
Research Associate

Dr Karen Scott
Lord Richard Percy Fellow

Dr Nicola Thompson

Research Projects - Rural Development

Details and comprehensive list of research projects undertaken in rural economy can be found on the Centre for Rural Economy's project pages.