CRE is designated a University Research Centre at Newcastle University. The Centre specialises in interdisciplinary social science and applied policy research oriented towards the achievement of a sustainable rural economy. Around 60 staff and postgraduate researchers at the University are associated with the Centre. CRE located within the School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development.
In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, the CRE was one the three groups that formed Unit of Assessment (UoA) 31, Town and Country Planning. The results show that the largest share (65%) of the research in UoA 31 is officially classified as world-leading or internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour, having been placed in the highest categories of 4*and 3*.