Centre for Rural Economy

Staff Profile

Melanie Thompson-Glen




The National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise is a dispersed centre led from Newcastle University, with satellite centres at the CCRI in Glos and ERC in Warwick,  whose aim is to use a combination of research and practical innovation projects to create learning that can be utilised by businesses, communities or policy makers to foster thriving rural areas.

My role, as Business Development Manager is to;

  • Raise the profile of NICRE nationally
  • Shape the engagement strategy including policy makers, rural organisations and stakeholders, business support organisations and rural businesses
  • Develop relationships with business and project partners to maximise mutual opportunities
  • Identify opportunities for NICRE to engage with key stakeholders 
  • Lead on development of innovation projects and Innovation Portal


Prior to joining NICRE in January 2021 I worked in rural development for over 25 years combining roles in practical environmental management, business growth and export advice along with running a rural consultancy for 6 years which delivered a range of contracts relating to business growth and community development in rural areas of the North East and overseas.