Who we are

About us

We exist to foster rural enterprise and aim to unlock the potential in the UK’s rural economies.

Who we are

We are a unique hub of innovation and research excellence working with a network of partners to find new ways of unlocking potential and supporting thriving rural businesses and communities.

We were set up in September 2020 with funding from Research England.

What we do

We put knowledge to work for an enterprising countryside combining research with practical innovation to find new ways of unlocking potential and supporting thriving rural businesses and communities.

Founding university partners

We bring together the strengths of our founding university partners: Newcastle University’s Centre for Rural Economy and Business School, Enterprise Research Centre at Warwick University and the Countryside and Community Research Institute at the University of Gloucestershire and Royal Agricultural University.

Alongside our business partner Strutt and Parker and a host of network partners across the UK, we have strong links with rural businesses and communities.  

Founding business partners

Network partners

Our findings

What have we learnt?

A significant output for NICRE in 2022 has been our analysis of rural enterprise in regions of England from the findings of our first major rural business survey.

We have published three State of Rural Enterprise Reports from the responses of more than 4,000 rural businesses in the North East, South West and West Midlands.

These have been welcomed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and key business and rural stakeholders.

We aim to inform policymaking by sharing knowledge. This evidence is strengthening calls for ongoing support for rural enterprise, better access to business advice, rurally-sensitive local economic development and the need to invest in infrastructure in rural areas.

Get involved

We're here to provide you with opportunities to make a difference to the future of rural enterprise across the UK.