Centre for Rural Economy


New Rural Economy (NREC) - Phase II

Phase I of the New Rural Economy Project ran from 2001 to 2004 and was funded by the Northern Rock Foundation, One NorthEast and several other agencies involved in rural development in the north of England.

The overall aim of the Project was to facilitate the regeneration of rural economies, linking the expertise of practitioners and research users with the Centre for Rural Economy to foster mutual, iterative learning, strengthen networks and enhance the capacity to act.

Phase II of the New Rural Economy began in 2004 and ran until 2007 with a grant of £122,000 from the Northern Rock Foundation. The project developed the two main strands of the Phase I NREC project: the programme of Northern Rural Network (NRN) events (including workshops and short courses); and the core facilitation role in placing postgraduate students with rural businesses, community organisations and public agencies in the rural North. These activities were developed in four main ways:

By developing a programme of action research with key rural development agencies;

By strengthening private sector participation in the NRN;

By expanding NRN work on social enterprise and;

By engaging the NRN in long term visioning in rural and regional development.

Membership of the NRN increased during this project to almost 700 individuals, representing a marked increase in membership levels since the first phase of the project. More representatives from the business community had also been involved in recent NRN events.