Rural Economy

Researchers at the RAU understand that land and landscape are a dynamic entity, the product of millennia of human curation, in the countryside and small rural towns. The rural economy includes industries traditionally associated with rural areas, such as agriculture, forestry and sectors such as creative industries, technology orientation across businesses and the service industry.

To sustain a balanced  outcome, a delicate relationship between productive activity – that includes farming and rural enterprise – and the conservation of the environment (both historic and landscape) needs to be maintained. We are particularly well positioned to support the needed changes as a result of Brexit (May, Arancibia, and Manning, 2020) and Covid-19 with our research. We have a unique blend of specialists that undertake research on rural enterprise and regeneration, including economists, strategists, marketers, geographers, planners and heritage and agri-business specialists. And we have a dedicated interest in the growing research field of rural creative and culture industries, and a particular interest in artisan and craft entrepreneurs (Hill, 2021).

We are part of the National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise (NICRE) along with the Universities of Newcastle, Warwick, and Gloucestershire, supported by Research England and industry partners (add link to NICRE) Contact the strategic RAU NICRE lead Dr. Inge Hill to learn more. Dr Inge Hill is co-leading the NICRE research stream on rural Creative Cultural Industries with partner Dr Frances Rowe, Newcastle University.

Cluster members

Jonathan Code

Sophie Lingham
Professor Mark HortonWilliam Leschallas
Dr David O'ConnorRosario Michel-Villarreal
Dr Beverley HillDr Ayodeji Owoeye
Dr Inge HillDr Fawaz Khaled


Highlight projects

Current doctoral and MScR research projects

Matthew Rogers-Draycott PhD

‘Think narratives in family businesses: An exploration of entrepreneurial discourse’

Joseph Timpre Preyor PhD  

‘Social protection and value-added agribusiness as solutions to unemployment and poverty among educated Nigerian youths’

William Leschallas MScR

‘The role of housing availability in farmer retirement decisions’
Rachel Lipscombe‘Housing in rural Britain’