Centre for Rural Economy


Rural Economy and Land Use Programme

The Rural Economy and Land Use Programme (Relu), a £27 million programme funded by ESRC, NERC, BBSRC, Defra and Scottish Government.

The Relu project was led from the Director’s Office, based within the Centre for Rural Economy. The Programme aimed to advance a holistic understanding of the major social, economic, environmental and technological challenges facing rural areas. Its specific objectives were:

It was the most comprehensive interdisciplinary programme funded by the UK research councils bringing together 500 social and natural scientists. The Relu programme was steered by research and activities of the Director’s Office at CRE, and pioneered the promotion of interdisciplinary collaborations between social scientists and natural scientists. It was also ground breaking and experimental in the involvement of over 4000 stakeholders throughout the research. Relu ran interactive events that broke out of the usual mould of academic conferences and produced publications, particularly its Policy and Practice note series, that targeted non academic audiences and received consistently positive feedback.