The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Staff Profile

Professor Andy Pike

Sir Henry Daysh Chair of Reg Dev Studies


Roles and Responsibilities

  • Director, Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS)(2012-2017)
  • Co-Director, i-BUILD research centre (Infrastructure BUsiness models, valuation and Innovation for Local Delivery)(2013-)
  • Daxia (Great China) Guest Professor, East China Normal University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China (2014-)
  • Special Researcher, Institute of Spatial Planning and Regional Economy (ISPRE), National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), Beijing, People’s Republic of China (2014-)
  • Advisory Board Member, ESRC, BIS and CLG What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth (2013-)
  • Editor, Regional Studies (2005-2014)
  • Visiting Senior Research Fellow, History, International and Social Studies, Ålborg University, Denmark (2008-09)
  • Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Urban and Regional Studies, Helsinki University of Technology, Finland (2008-09)
  • External Examiner, MSc Urban and Regional Development, Cardiff University (2013-)
  • External Examiner, MSc Local Economic Development, London School of Economics (2008-13)
  • Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Centro de Estudos Geográficos, University of Lisbon, Portugal (2003-)
  • ESRC Virtual College Member
  • Founding Degree Programme Director MA Local and Regional Development (Research) and MA Regional Development and Spatial Planning (2002-2013)


  • PhD Geography, University of Liverpool
  • BA (Hons) Geography, University of Liverpool 

Area of expertise

  • Local and regional development
  • Governance and policy

Previous Positions

  • 2003-2009 Senior Lecturer, CURDS, Department of Geography, Newcastle University, UK
  • 1995-2003 Lecturer, CURDS, Department of Geography, Newcastle University, UK
  • 1993-95 Research Associate, CURDS, Newcastle University, UK 


  • Member and Fellow of the Regional Studies Association
  • IBG-RGS Economic Geography Research Group
  • Institute of Economic Development

Honours and Awards

  • Regional Studies Association Best Book Award 2012 (Handbook of Local and Regional Development edited with Andrés Rodríguez-Pose (LSE) and John Tomaney (UCL), Routledge: London)
  • Regional Studies Association Best Book Award 2010 (Whither Regional Studies?, Routledge: London)
  • Conferment as Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences (2009-)
  • Best Published Paper Prize Nomination, Association of European Schools of Planning and US Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, 2007 (“What kind of local and regional development and for whom?” with Andrés Rodríguez-Pose and John Tomaney, Regional Studies)

 Google scholar: Click here.


Research Interests

My central research interest is the geographical political economy of local and regional development. This core provides the basis for two main strands of work. First, this research is concerned with the concepts and theory of the meaning and governance of development regionally and locally in an international context. In particular, this work seeks to question and broaden our understandings of ‘development’ beyond the economic to encompass the social and ecological in more sustainable and progressive ways and to begin more meaningfully to connect development locally and regionally in the global North and South.

Second, this research focuses upon the intersections between local and regional development and Economic Geography. This theme has been explored in ongoing work on the geographies of brands and branding, and collaborative work on evolutionary approaches and the geographies of financialisation.

My research builds upon close policy engagement and has informed local and regional development policy for international (e.g. European Commission, United Nations International-Labour Organization (UN-ILO), Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), national (e.g. Government Departments – Business, Innovation and Skills; Communities and Local Government), regional (e.g. Local Enterprise Partnerships, Regional Development Agencies, trade unions, voluntary organisations) and local (e.g. Local Authorities, Development Agencies) organisations.

Google Scholar profile:

Current Work

My current work is focused on five areas of activity:

First, I have completed a book manuscript on ‘Origination: The Geographies of Brands and Branding’. This has been published by Wiley-Blackwell – see Caribbean cuisine, Latin American coffee, American high-tech, Danish furniture, Thai silks, Catalan design, Hollywood films, Broadway theatre, Florentine leather goods, Hunter Valley wines, London insurance… Where branded goods and services commodities are from and are associated with is integral to their meaning and value. Internationalisation, even globalisation, has complicated the picture as brand owners, managers, marketers, consumers and regulators have grappled with questions of origin(s), provenance, authenticity and transparency. Yet, longstanding research has been fixated with the ‘country of origin’ effect on consumer behaviour and failed to develop ways of thinking about the geographies of brands and branding that encompass and extend beyond this national frame. Origination introduces and develops a new way of understanding and explaining the geographical associations constructed by actors related in spatial circuits – producers, circulators, consumers and regulators – in their attempts to cohere and stabilise meaning and value in goods and services brands and their branding in particular spatial and temporal market contexts. Connecting geographically political and cultural economy concerns, origination provides a means to address critical questions about how, why, where and by whom goods and services brands are associated with specific and particular geographical attributes and characteristics of spaces and places and why it matters for people and places.

Second, ongoing research focuses on the governance of uneven development. This work specifically examines the governance of economic development in England and is currently exploring the shift away from regions, regionalisation and regionalism toward rebalancing, decentralisation and localism under the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition and now Conservative government in the UK. This research includes studies of the demise of the RDAs and the emergence of the LEPs in England in collaboration with David Marlow (Third Life Economics and CURDS), Anja McCarthy (CURDS), Peter O’Brien (CURDS) and John Tomaney (UCL). This project was part of my involvement in the Spatial Economics Research Centre (SERC) funded by ESRC, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (DBIS), and the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG). See

Third, the inter-disciplinary research centre i-BUILD (Infrastructure BUsiness models, valuation and Innovation for Local Delivery) involving the Universities of Birmingham and Leeds and funded by EPSRC and ESRC began in 2013. See: i-BUILD is developing new business models to improve the delivery of infrastructure systems and the services they provide. These new business models aim better to exploit the technical and market opportunities that emerge from the increased interdependence of modern infrastructure systems. i-BUILD focuses on infrastructure at the scale of neighbourhoods, towns and cities where infrastructure is most dense and interdependencies between infrastructures, economies and society are most profound. As cities, local authorities and local enterprise partnerships are given more powers for infrastructure delivery and to raise finances it is crucial to develop robust new business models to develop infrastructure related business and growth locally - to the benefit of the nation. I am Co-Director of the centre and lead on the workstream on the governance of infrastructure funding and financing. With Dr. Peter O’Brien, we have undertaken the first national comparative study of the City Deals in the UK and are now working on the governance of infrastructure funding and financing in London and the (re)valuation of local authority assets.

Fourth, we have undertaken a research study on tackling declining cities in the UK for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation with CURDS colleagues David Bradley, Tony Champion, Mike Coombes, Danny MacKinnon, Liz Robson and Colin Wymer and Andy Cumbers from Glasgow University. The geographical extent and multi-faceted nature of urban decline has seen it become an area of policy concern internationally. Policy responses have typically sought to counter decline through the promotion of urban growth and recovery, although a new strategy of seeking to manage and steer decline has emerged in recent years. Clear gaps in understanding, empirical evidence and policy evaluation remain. Potential learning from international experiences has yet to be systematically identified, despite the emergence of these new approaches. The evidence base is fragmented, relying upon either case studies of individual cities or quantitative analyses of the process of decline. In this context, the research is reviewing the UK evidence on long-term population and economic decline in cities and international policy responses.

Fifth, with the Regional Studies Association, CURDS has contributed to a policy intervention at the RSA Winter Conference 2014 in London setting out the case for a more balanced approach to spatial economic growth and development policy in the UK. The draft report has been produced by Ben Gardiner, Ron Martin and Peter Tyler from Cambridge University and Andy Pike from CURDS, Newcastle University. See

Future Research

I am continuing ongoing work in collaboration with Stuart Dawley (CURDS), Andy Cumbers (Glasgow), Danny MacKinnon (CURDS) and Robert McMaster (Glasgow) on elaborating evolutionary approaches to economic geography in a geographical political economy vein and undertaking empirical work on resilience and the adaptation, adaptability and adaptive capacity of local and regional economies in a comparative international context.

As part of a new EPSRC and ESRC-funded grant, I will be contributing to a research network on ‘Building sustainable local nexuses of food, energy and water: from smart engineering to shared prosperity’. Local nexuses, involving localised food manufacturing and decentralised energy and water supply that interact with the food system, are a special chapter of re-distributed manufacturing (RDM) with a focus on the sustainable local alignment of resources, production and consumption. To-date, a comprehensive technological, economic, and social/political understanding of local production/manufacture of food, energy and water, or local nexus, is still yet to be developed. By collaboration between engineering and social sciences, the Local Nexus Network will carry out feasibility projects and events to (i) establish the technical and socio-economic state-of-the-art of local productions of food, energy and water, (ii) generate initial insights for guiding researchers, businesses, policy makers and communities who are enthusiastic about exploring the potential of local nexuses, (iii) develop an evidence-based research agenda, (iv) form an inclusive research and stakeholder community, and (v) inform other related research on RDM. 


Research Roles 

Editorial Advisory Board, Local Economy

Editorial Board, Finisterra - Portuguese Journal of Geography


Postgraduate Supervision

Laura Sariego (2015-, FT) ‘Local institutions and local economic development in Latin America’ (Costa Rican Government Studentship, Joint supervision with Danny MacKinnon)

Graham Thrower (2014-, FT) ‘Private investment and local infrastructure funding, financing and governance’ (iBUILD Studentship, Joint supervision with Jane Gibbons (NUBS) and Oliver Heidrich (Civil Engineering))

Diana Morales (2014-, FT) ‘Regional co-operation and development in Colombia and Germany’ (Colombian Government Studentship, joint supervision with Danny MacKinnon)

Liam Keenan (2013-) ‘Financialisation and the decline of the local pub: An Anglo-German comparison’ (ESRC Collaborative Studentship, Joint supervision with Paul Langley (Durham), Neill Marshall, Jane Pollard and CAMRA)

Fraser Bell (2012-) ‘The reputation of place’ (ESRC Collaborative Studentship, Joint Supervision with Stuart Dawley, Ray Hudson (Durham) and Tina Snowball, NewcastleGateshead Initiative)

Matt Jenkins (2012-) ‘The social construction of economic statistics’ (ESRC Collaborative Studentship, Joint supervision with Mike Coombes and Joe Painter (Durham))

Emile Boustani (2012-, PT) ‘Variegated financialisation of global production networks in post-socialist contexts: the automobile supplier industry in Hungary and eastern Germany’ (Self-funding, joint supervision with Jane Pollard)

Emil Evenhuis (2011-) 'The political economy of adaptation in old industrial regions' (ESRC Studentship, Joint supervision with Stuart Dawley and John Tomaney (UCL))

Anja McCarthy (2011-) 'The local state and economic development and regeneration' (ESRC Collaborative Studentship, Joint supervision with John Tomaney (UCL) and Newcastle City Council)

Tom Strickland (2011-) 'Financialising urban development? A UK-US comparison' (ESRC Collaborative Studentship, Joint supervision with Jane Pollard and Newcastle City Council)

Rebecca Richardson (2010-) 'Place branding for urban development?' (ESRC Collaborative Studentship, Joint Supervision with Anoop Nayak and Tina Snowball, NewcastleGateshead Initiative)

Sophie Yarker (2010-14) 'Urban regeneration and the transformation of local identities' (ESRC Studentship, Joint Supervision with Robin Humphrey and John Tomaney (UCL)) (Now Teaching Fellow, CURDS, Newcastle University)

Mai Stabell (2010-) 'Petroleum-related FDI and local economic development' (Joint supervision with Matt Davies (Politics) and Neill Marshall)

Ben Fisher (2009-) 'New industry path creation and evolution' (Joint Supervision with Stuart Dawley) (Now Business Development Manager, Newcastle University)

Cecilia Pasquinelli (2008-12) ‘Place Branding’ (Joint Supervision with Professor Nicola Bellini, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa, Italy)(PhD awarded 2012)(Now Post-doctoral Researcher, Department of Economic and Social Geography, Uppsala University, Sweden)

Xue Feng Wang (2008-09) ‘Cities and the Knowledge Economy in China’ (Chinese Government, Joint Supervision with John Tomaney) (PhD Awarded 2009) (Now Research Associate, CURDS)

Rosibel Víquez-Abarca (2008-11) ‘Universities and Regional Development in the Knowledge Economy’ (Costa Rican Government, Joint Supervision with Andy Gillespie and José Esteban Castro) (PhD awarded 2011) (Now Researcher, UNED, Costa Rica)

Young-Jin Shin (2008-) ‘Regenerating the Coalfields in South Korea: lessons from Europe’ (Joint Supervisor with John Tomaney)

Julie Lister (2007-) ‘Economic Evolution in North East England’ (ESRC Studentship, Joint Supervisor with Ranald Richardson)

John Edwards (2007-11) ‘Social Capital and Territorial Development Institutions and Policy’ (ESRC Studentship, Joint Supervisor with John Tomaney) (PhD awarded 2011) (Now Post-doctoral Researcher, European Commission Joint Research Centre, Seville, Spain)

Michail Biniakos (2006-11) ‘Transition and New Regionalism in the Balkans’ (Greece National Government Studentship, Joint Supervisor with Alison Stenning and John Tomaney) (PhD awarded 2011) (Now Local Government Official, Greece)

Pedro Marques (2006-10) ‘Power and Territorial Innovation Systems’ (Portuguese National Government Studentship, Joint Supervisor with Andy Gillespie)(PhD awarded 2010)(Now Research Associate, Cardiff University)

Chieh-Wen Liu (2004-) ‘Culture and Regional Development in Taiwan’ (Joint Supervisor with Frank Moulaert, School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape)

Alex Rowley (2002-05) ‘Trade Unions and Lifelong Learning’ (TUC-funded, Joint Supervisor with Frank Coffield, Institute of Education, University of London) (Now Councillor and Leader of the Labour Opposition, Fife Council)

Liz Dixon (2000-2004) ‘The Role of the Private Sector in Regional Development and Governance’ (ESRC CASE Studentship with EEF Northern Association; Jointly supervised with John Tomaney)(PhD awarded 2004)(Formerly Research Associate, CURDS)

Chris Potter (2000-2005) ‘Host Economies and Transnational Corporations’ (ESRC Competition Studentship)(PhD awarded 2005).

Peter O'Brien (1999-2004) ‘The Role of Trade Unions in Regional Development and Governance’ (ESRC CASE Studentship with Northern TUC; Jointly supervised with John Tomaney)(PhD awarded 2004)(Formerly Chief Executive, North East Local Enterprise Partnership and now Research Associate, CURDS)

Stuart Dawley (1998-2002) ‘High-tech Investment Cycles and Peripheral Region Development’ (ESRC CASE Studentship with North of England Microelectronics Institute; Jointly Supervised with David Charles)(PhD awarded 2002)(Now Senior Lecturer, CURDS)


2015-17 EPSRC/ESRC Re-distributed Manufacturing Network ‘Building sustainable local nexuses of food, energy and water: from smart engineering to shared prosperity’, Co-I (£500k, with Aidong Yang, Oxford University)

2015-17 Newcastle University-Xiamen University Joint Research Initiative, ‘Adaptive Capacity, Resilience and Change: A Comparative Study of Local and Regional Development in Northern England and Fujian Province’, Co-I (£150k, with David Bradley, Stuart Dawley, Danny MacKinnon, Peter O’Brien and Xuefeng Wang)

2014-15 Joseph Rowntree Foundation, ‘Tacking Declining Cities in the UK’, PI (£90k, with David Bradley, Tony Champion, Mike Coombes, Danny MacKinnon and Liz Robson)

2013-16 What Works in Local Economic Growth Centre, ESRC Co-I (£3m)

2013-2017 i-BUILD (Infrastructure BUsiness models, valuation and Innovation for Local Delivery), EPSRC and ESRC, Co-I (£3.5m)

2012-13 Local Economic Recovery and Development Planning in Iraq, United Nations – International Labour Organisation, PI ($20k)

2012 SME and Entrepreneurship Issues and Policies at the National and Local Levels in Russia, OECD, PI (€5k)

2012 The Contribution of Manufacturing to UK Resilience, BIS and Government Office for Science PI (£10k)

2011-13 Spatial Economics Research Centre II, ESRC/BIS/WAG, PI and Co-I (£20k)

2012-13 BIS/NIESR, Regional Economic Analysis, Co-I (£48k)

2010 OECD, SME and Entrepreneurship Issues and Policies at the National and Local Levels in Mexico, PI (€5k)

2011 European Spatial Observatories Network (ESPON), Knowledge Support System Expert Sounding Board Member (5.5k€) 

2010 Henan Development and Reform Commission, China, 'Spatial and Industrial Development', (Co-I with Professor John Tomaney and Dr Xuefeng Wang) (£150k) 

2010 Communities and Local Government 'Decentralisation and public service provision' (Co-I with Professors Tomaney and Rodríguez-Pose and Drs Torrisi and Tselios) (£70k)

2009 OECD ‘Non-State Actors in Local Development Governance’ (PI with Professor John Tomaney and Drs Gianpiero Torrisi and Vassilis Tselios) (1.5k€)

2009-11 ESRC ‘Devolution and Economic Performance’ (Spatial Economics Research Centre Project 5b) (PI with Professors Ian Gordon, Andrés Rodríguez-Pose and John Tomaney) (£80k)

2008-09 British Academy ‘A ‘British’ Brand? The Case of Burberry’ (Principal Investigator) (£6.7k)

2008-2011 ESRC, Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, Communities and Local Government and Welsh Assembly Government Spatial Economics Research Centre (Co-I with LSE, Glasgow, Oxford and Swansea) (£2.4m)

2008-2011 ONE North East ‘Integrated Regional Strategy Peer Assist’ (Co-I with Professor John Tomaney and Dr Nick Henry, GHK) (£190k)

2008-2010 The Northern Way ‘Research Programme Peer Assist’ (Co-I with Professor John Tomaney and Ranald Richardson) (£181k)

2008-09 ONE North East ‘Evaluation of the Impact and Policy Response to Restructuring at Northern Rock’ (Co-I with Professors Neill Marshall and John Tomaney, Drs Stuart Dawley and Jane Pollard and Regeneris Consulting) (£148k)

2008 South West Regional Development Agency ‘Assessment of Regional and Local Development over the Last 20 Years’ (Co-I with Professor John Tomaney and Dr Nick Henry, GHK) (£20k)

2008 ONE North East ‘Economic Capacity Building’ (PI with Professors Richard Harris (Glasgow), Ian Stone (Durham), Colin Wren (Newcastle) and Dr Henry Overman (LSE)) (£20k)

2007 OECD Local Economic and Employment Development Programme and Welsh Assembly Government ‘Västra Götaland Regional Growth Agreement, Sweden’ (PI) (£1k)

2007 OECD Local Economic and Employment Development Programme and USAID ‘Strengthening Entrepreneurship Innovation and Economic Development at Local Level in Croatia: Institutional arrangements for the design and delivery of entrepreneurship policies’ (PI) (£3k)

2007 The Northern Way ‘Economic Linkages in the Northern City-Regions’ (Co-I with Professors Alan Harding and Bryan Robson) (£80k)

2007 North Tyneside Council ‘Economic and Social Change in North Tyneside’ (PI with David Bradley) (£3.5k)

2007-2009 ESRC Seminar Series ‘Changing Cultures of Competitiveness’ (Co-I with Ngai-Ling Sum and Bob Jessop (Lancaster University) - see ? (£15k)

2006-2009 European Commission ‘Social Innovation and Inclusion in the Knowledge Economy – KATARSIS’ (Co-I with Professor Frank Moulaert (Leuven)) (£606k)

2006 ONE North East ‘What Works in Regional Economic Development: Learning from International Best Practice’ (Co-I with Professors John Tomaney and Mike Coombes and Drs Nick Henry and Stuart Dawley, GHK) (£47.5k)

2005 OECD Local Economic and Employment Development Programme and German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs ‘Strengthening Entrepreneurship and Economic Development in Eastern Germany’ (PI) (£3.5k)

2005-2007 ESRC Seminar Series ‘The New Public Management and Regional Policy’ (Co-I with Les Budd (Open University), Josie Kelly (Aston) and Joyce Liddle (Durham) (£14.1k)

2005 Office of the Deputy Prime Minister ‘The Economic Viability and Self-Containment of Geographical Economies’ (PI with Mike Coombes, Tony Champion, Lynne Humphrey and John Tomaney) (£32k)

2005-08 Regional Studies Association ‘Regional Studies Editorship’ (Editor-in-Chief with 9 other Editors) (£116k)

2005 ESRC Advanced Training and Development Award ‘Researching Civic Engagement and Devolved Governance in Europe’ (PI with the Regional Studies Association) (£10.2k)

2004 University of Newcastle Vacation Scholarship ‘Microbreweries in North East England’ (Co-I with Matthew Needham) (£1.5k)

2004 ESRC Advanced Training and Development Award ‘Research Strategy and Methodology for Regional Development and Governance in an Enlarged Europe’ (PI with the Regional Studies Association) (£9.4k)

2003-04 European Commission ‘Regional Economic Sustainability and University Learning and Teaching Strategies - RESULTS’ (Co-Investigator with Dr Hans-Peter Baumeister (Reutlingen University)) (£118k)

2003 University of Newcastle, Arts and Humanities Research Fund ‘Recasting Steel Geographies’ (Co-I with Alison Stenning, and Stuart Dawley) (£2.5k)

2003 North East Assembly ‘Regional Governance Capacity Building Course’ (PI with Professor John Tomaney) (£30k)

2003 University of Newcastle Vacation Scholarship ‘Directly Elected Mayors and Local Economic Development’ (Co-I with Graham Turner) (£1.5k)

2002 ESRC Advanced Training and Development Award ‘Doing Regional Research in a Devolving State: Research Strategy and Methodology in Post-Devolution UK’ (PI with the Regional Studies Association) (£6.8k)

2002 Government Office North East ‘Regional Governance’ (Co-I with Professor John Tomaney) (£7.5k)

2001 University of Newcastle Vacation Scholarship ‘Pension Fund Capitalism and Regional Development’ (Co-I with Felicity Wray) (£1.5k)

2000 UNISON ‘The Economic and Social Implications of Best Value’ (PI with Peter O’Brien) (£2.5k)

2000 University of Newcastle Small Grant ‘Task Forces and the Governance of Economic Development’ (PI with Stuart Dawley) (£1.5k)



Undergraduate Teaching

GEO2099 Economic Geographies

GEO3114 Local and Regional Development

GEO3099 Dissertation module


Postgraduate Teaching

GEO8002 Local and Regional Development Theory and Policy

GEO8007 Local and Regional Development: Methodology, Analysis and Statistics

GEO8009 Developing Local and Regional Strategies

GEO8018 Local and Regional Development and Governance

GEO9089 Research Dissertation