Meet the research team

A team from Rural England CIC and SRUC, led by Brian Wilson, are collaborating on this project.

Brian Wilson, Chair of Directors, Rural England CIC
Brian set up in consultancy in 2008 to offer policy advice, research and evaluation.  He is a well known analyst and commentator on rural policy and development issues.  His career includes substantive spells as a Director at the Countryside Agency and Commission for Rural Communities, as well as time in the local government sector.  Brian’s consultancy clients include Defra, the Rural Coalition, Rural Services Network, ACRE and various local authorities.

Dr Jane Hart, Director, Rural England CIC
Jane is a Chartered Town Planner and a research consultant with a particular interest in service delivery in rural areas.  She previously worked in senior local authority planning roles in remote areas of Wales, Scotland and England.  She previously worked (with Brian) on a Defra project about alternative rural service delivery models and is currently researching rural vulnerability issues for Rural England.

Dr Jane Atterton, Manager and Policy Researcher, SRUC
Jane is based at SRUC’s Rural Policy Centre.  She has over fifteen years’ experience researching a range of regional and rural development issues.  Her particular areas of interest are rural economies and businesses, rural policies and policy-making processes, and rural community change.  Jane has undertaken projects for the EU, the Scottish and Swedish Governments, Defra and the Commission for Rural Communities.

Steven Thomson, Senior Agricultural Economist, SRUC
Steven has over twenty years’ experience in agricultural and rural policy analysis.  He is joint coordinator of the Rural Industries work package theme two (Productive and Sustainable Land Management and Rural Economies) of the Scottish Government’s 2016-21 Strategic Research Programme.  He has been involved in assessing agricultural trends and the impacts of current or likely future policies.

Mike Spencer, Data Manager and Researcher, SRUC
Mike is based in SRUC’s Land Economy, Environment and Society research group.  He provides support and advice for data intensive projects, whether in-house SRUC or commissioned consultancy research.  Mike has fifteen years’ experience in spatial data analysis, working across the public, private and academic sectors.