Centre for Local and Regional Enterprise (CLaRE)

local countryside

In a rapidly changing global economy there is a crucial need for effective policy making at the local and regional levels. While regional economic development is constrained and influenced by the macroeconomic environment and by national and international policies and occurrences, as well as private sector calculations, there is considerable scope for well designed local and regional strategies in all their variant forms. Such strategies cover job creation, increased productivity, entrepreneurship development, diversification, regeneration, knowledge transfer, research and development, sustainability and the creation of an appropriate economic, social and regulatory environment that encourages enterprise and new business development.

Research Interests

The Centre was established within the Aberystwyth Business School (ABS) in 2006, with its multi-disciplinary work building on a tradition of studying the economy of Wales and rural areas in particular. Since its inception the Centre has undertaken several high profile EU-funded research projects involving international collaboration with a wide range of academic partners. These comprise a major report on the employment effects of CAP agricultural reform, the development of a programme to encourage and support female entrepreneurship, and a study of sustainable learning networks in Ireland and Wales. Within Wales the Centre’s researchers have been involved in funded studies of strategic planning in Mid Wales, sustainable development in Pembrokeshire, the effects of climate change on tourism demand, and an investigation of the effects of the Severn Bridge tolls on small businesses, while other studies and publications include work on the Welsh water utility sector, stakeholder relationships in a heritage railway company, self-employment patterns, and rural development policy. The RAE 2008 identified “world leading outputs” from the Centre, and emphasised the SMB’s "support for the regional economy".

Research Projects

Current projects


Flow, Change and Wellbeing Project Research Team: Dr Sophie Bennett-Gillison (Aberystwyth), Dr Paul Joiner (Independent Researcher), Diana Reynolds (Welsh Government, Aberystwyth).

The Impact of Research in EU Agriculture Research team: Peter Midmore, Andrew HenleyMaria Plotnikova and a consortium of European Research Insitutes (see http://www.impresa-project.eu/home.html).

Farm Tourism in Wales Research team: Mandy Talbot (Aberystwyth).

A Dynamic Analysis of Poverty and Vulnerability in Wales: Moving Beyond the "Conventional Approach Research team: Shafiul Azam, Abdi Ali, Maria Plotnikova, Peter Midmore, Andy Henley.


Past projects


What Drives Creative People? Do artists follow creative careers for self-fulfilment or to make a living? Research team: Sophie Bennett (Aberystwyth)

Edible Wales: Sustenance and locality Research team: Sophie Bennett, Rob Bowen, Richard Marggraf Turley and Tim Williams (all Aberystwyth), with business partners Artis Studios and AO Studios

Regional House Price Variation by Property Type Research team: Maria Plotnikova and Dennis Thomas (Aberystwyth), Bruce Morley (Bath).

Entrepreneurial Intentions, Motives and Transitions into Self-employment Research team: Andrew Henley (Aberystwyth), Chris Dawson (West of England), Paul Latreille (Sheffield).

Over-optimism Bias and Entrepreneurial Choice and Business Performance Research team: Andrew Henley (Aberystwyth), Chris Dawson (West of England), David de Meza (LSE) Reza Arabsheibani (Swansea).

Leadership and Small Business Performance: Regional Variation in New Firm Formation Research team: Andrew Henley (Aberystwyth), Karen Jones and Sally Sambrook (Bangor) and Luke Pittaway (Georgia Southern).

Investigating the Role of Eisteddfodau in Creating and Transmitting Cultural Value in Wales and Beyond Research team: Brian Garrod and David Dowell (Aberystwyth) (see http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/smb/research/cultural-values/).

Examining and Testing Regional Policy Issues in North West Wales Research team: Rhydian Fôn James, Peter Midmore and Dennis Thomas (Aberystwyth).

Agriculture’s inter-industry linkages and rural policy reforms – Wales-Sweden Research team: Peter Midmore (Aberystwyth), Gunnar Lindberg and Yves Surry (Uppsala).

Regional Variation in New Firm Formation Research team: Andrew Henley and Maria Plotnikova (Aberystwyth).

Informal Credit Institutions in post-Communist Uzbekistan Research team: Peter Midmore (Aberystwyth) and Kobil Ruziev (West of England).

Development of a Lambing Efficiency Calculator Research team: Wyn Morris and Nishikant Mishra (Aberystwyth).

Development of an On-line Lamb Feed Calculator as a Management Tool for Farmers Research team: Wyn Morris and Nishikant Mishra (Aberystwyth).

Female Entrepreneurship – Wales-Ireland
Research team: Nerys Fuller-Love (Principal Applicant), Peter Midmore, Anna Prytherch and Dennis Thomas (Aberystwyth), Bill O’Gorman (Waterford Institute of Technology).

The Impact of CAP Reform on Employment Levels in Rural Areas
Research team: Nerys Fuller-Love, Lesley Langstaffe, Peter Midmore, Mark Rhodes and Dennis Thomas (Aberystwyth), and collaboration with academics in seven other European countries.

Scenario Analysis and Regional Economic Development – Mid Wales
Research team: Nerys Fuller-Love, Andrew Henley, Peter Midmore and Dennis Thomas (Aberystwyth).

Regional Self-reliance and Economic Development – Pembrokeshire, Wales
Research team: Peter Midmore and Dennis Thomas (Aberystwyth).

Impact of Climate Change on the Welsh Visitor Economy
Research team: Brian Garrod (Aberystwyth), David Frost (ADAS), Gina Cavan and Sarah Lindley (Manchester), Maureen Agnew and Clare Goodess (East Anglia).

Economic Impact of the Severn Crossing Tolls
Research team: Peter Midmore, Nick Perdikis, Anne-Marie Sherwood and Dennis Thomas (Aberystwyth).

Organizational Change in Heritage Railway Companies
Research team: Dennis Thomas (Aberystwyth), Kelum Jayasinghe (Essex), Teeven Soobaroyen (Southampton).

Sustainable Learning Networks for Entrepreneurs – Wales-Ireland
Research team: Nerys Fuller-Love, Chris Dawson, Anne Howells, Sajjad Jasimuddin, Lesley Langstaffe, Peter Midmore and Dennis Thomas (Aberystwyth), Bill O’Gorman (Waterford).

Seminar series

Seminar series

Centre Members


Recent publications:



Y Wladfa Gymreig: outbound diasporic tourism and contribution to identify. Cater, C., Poguntke, K. & Morris, W., 2019 , In : Tourism Geographies.



The Rural Artistic Entrepreneur: Exploring Motivational Tension and Creative Production in Rural Economies. Bennett, S., Rahman, R. & Fuller-Love, N., 2018 , In : Revue de l'Entrepreneuriat.1, 17, p. 29-3810 p.


Digital Divide: Broadband access implications on agribusiness in rural Wales. Morris, D. & Bowen, R., 2018 .


Covariance Risk and the Ripple Effect in the UK Regional Housing Market Morley, B & Thomas, D, 2018 , In : Review of Economics and Finance. 12, 3, p. 1-13 p. 


Why are the British Bad at Manufacturing? Williams, K., Williams, J. & Thomas, D., 2018, 1 ed. Routledge Journals, Taylor & Francis Ltd. 288 p. (Routledge Library Editions: Industrial Economics) 




Brexit: Implications for the Food and Craft Industries Bennett, S. & Bowen, R., 2017.


Social Media, an Entrepreneurial Opportunity for Agricultural Based Enterprises Morris, D. & James, W., 2017 , In : Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development.24, 4, p. 1028-104518 p.


Farm diversification, entrepreneurship and technology adoption: Analysis of upland farmers in Wales Morris, W., Henley, A. & Dowell, D., 2017 , In : Journal of Rural Studies.53, p. 132-14312 p.



Selling places: Using place-based marketing to promote regional produce: The case of Rhondda Cynon Taff Bowen, R. & Bennett, S., 2016 .


An Empirical Analysis of UK House Price Risk Variation by Property Type Morley, B & Thomas, D, 2016 , In : Review of Economics and Finance. 6, 2, p. 45-56 p. 



Tinopolis to Tinopolis: A Century of Industrial Change Thomas, D, 2015. In Amrywiaeth Llanelli Miscellany, 28, p. 53-65 p. 



Living Hand to Mouth: Why the Bohemian Lifestyle Does Not Lead to Wealth Creation in Peripheral RegionsBennett, S. S., McGuire, S. & Rahman, R. J., 2014 , In : European Planning Studies.23, 12, p. 2390-2403



‘Ground Truths’ and Scenarios: Examining and Testing Regional Policy in North West Wales  James, R F, Midmore, P & Thomas, D, 2013. In Local Economy. 28, 6, p. 643-662 p. 


Public Sector Size and Peripherality, James, R F, Midmore, P and Thomas, D, 2012. In Spatial Economic Analysis. 7, 4, p. 447-460 p.