Rural Economy and Land Use Programme

Harnessing the sciences for sustainable rural development

Rural areas in the UK are experiencing a period of considerable change. The Rural Economy and Land Use Programme aimed to advance understanding of the challenges caused by this change today and in the future. Interdisciplinary research was funded between 2004 and 2013 in order to inform policy and practice with choices on how to manage the countryside and rural economies.

The Rural Economy and Land Use Programme enabled researchers to work together to investigate the social, economic, environmental and technological challenges faced by rural areas. It was an unprecedented collaboration between the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). It had a budget of £24 million, with additional funding provided by the Scottish Government and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.