The Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI), is a unique partnership between the University of Gloucestershire, the Royal Agricultural University and Hartpury College. It is the largest specialist rural research centre in the UK, having expertise in all aspects of research in policy and planning for the countryside and the environment of the UK, Europe and further afield.
The CCRI has developed a clear focus of undertaking work funded through research grants and other research contracts. It has a strong interest in the robust and holistic evaluation of rural policy and is building its expertise and expanding its research focus in readiness for the significant policy challenges that lie ahead, not only for rural areas but also for urban areas. Some of CCRI’s recent research has considered the role of cities in the future of agricultural food production and has highlighted changes in the conceptualization of the rural-urban continuum, while through other work it has started to engage with renewable energy and energy policies.
The work of the CCRI is increasingly international, working with universities and businesses across Europe to find solutions to the pressing questions of sustainability. It is currently involved in three major projects funded by the Horizon 2020 programme, the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years. The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) classified some 85% of CCRI’s work to be of ‘international standing’.
The CCRI provides a supportive work environment in which scholarship, high quality consultancy and teaching activities are undertaken by its motivated team of research and support staff.
The Mission Statement of the CCRI is:
“The CCRI will guide and influence rural change through rigorous and theoretically sound research of clear policy relevance to the economy, society, environment and governance of the South West region, rural Britain and the rest of Europe emphasising sustainable development, economic regeneration, sustainable environments, local distinctiveness and inclusive processes. It aims to be acknowledged as a centre of excellence in research by academic and practitioner communities and to communicate research findings effectively to public, private and voluntary sectors and all rural stakeholders.”