Centre for Creativity, Leadership and Regional Economies

local countryside

In a rapidly changing global economy there is a crucial need for effective leadership, organisational creativity, and policy-making in international, regional, and local environments. Organisational decision-making depends on good leaders, and the quality of a leader’s decision-making ability depends on the environment that surrounds them. In a post-COVID society, alternative, creative methods in organisational strategy, structure, and leadership are required – methods which encompass new organisational directions alongside a deeper understanding of the environment and community in which organisations and individuals operate. CLaRE provides a platform for cross-disciplinary research into organisational practice and policy, community and local regeneration, and the value of creative-based thinking at local, regional and international level.

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

sheepThe 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".

To find out more about current research topics visit the weekly Seminar Series for further details.

CLaRE has recently taken on a new form in its consideration of organisational strategy, structure, and leadership in a Post-COVID society alongside the original focus on regional and local economies. In its new form CLaRE provides a platform for cross-disciplinary and creative research involving the arts and humanities as well as social sciences.


Research Projects

Current projects

Fair Pay for Writers Report, 2023.

Research team: Dr Sophie Bennett-Gillison (Aberystwyth), Nerys Fuller-Love (Aberystwyth), Dr Julie Jones (Aberystwyth)

The Socio-economic Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Ceredigion County Households Research Team: Dr Aloysius Igboekwu (Aberystwyth), Dr Sarah Lindop (Aberystwyth), Dr Maria Plotnikova (Aberystwyth)

The Economic Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Ceredigion Businesses and Self-employed Research Team: Dr Aloysius Igboekwu (Aberystwyth), Dr Sarah Lindop (Aberystwyth), Dr Maria Plotnikova (Aberystwyth)

Developing Community Cohesion through Literary Practice Research Team: Professor Matthew Jarvis (Aberystwyth, Creative Writing), Dr Sophie Bennett-Gillison (Aberystwyth) and Dr Lyndon Murphy (Aberystwyth).

Tourism research partnership with Chengdu University. Research Team: Dr Julio Munoz

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

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.

The Regeneration of rural towns in Wales: The case of Holywell. Research Team: Matthew Price (PhD Student, Aberystwyth), Dr Julie Jones (Aberystwyth).

Influencing community regeneration policy in post-Covid19 Wales – an analysis of stakeholder discourse. Research Team Dr Sophie Bennett-Gillison (Aberystwyth), Dr Wyn Morris (Aberystwyth) Lyndon Murphy (Aberystwyth).

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). 

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).



CLaRE and RCE Symposium Proceedings 2021

CLaRE Symposium 23rd June 2021

The Centre for Local and Regional Enterprise (CLaRE) annual research symposium took place on the 23rd of June 2021. This year's symposium was entitled 'Regenerating Rural Communities'. The symposium sought to promote research relating to the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on rural communities (defined in this instance as communities, organisations and individuals operating/living outside of cities). It aimed to showcase the research of academics, practitioners, and research students across Aberystwyth University and its stakeholder networks. The symposium was held in conjunction with the Regional Centres of Expertise (Cymru) network (in particular, the Resilient communities' hub).

Conference Programme:


Welcome and introductions (Dr Lyndon Murphy)


Keynote speaker: Paul Byard (FSG Tool & Die Limited)


Building resilience


Presentations – Track 1

Theme: Creativity, Education and Care


Guy Evans (The Care Society, Ceredigion).


COVID-19 and The Care Society


Leusa Llewelyn (Literature Wales).


Reaching new audiences in lockdown / Cyrraedd cynulleidfaoedd mewn byd dan glo


Matthew Francis (Aberystwyth)


A Writer's Lockdown


Siân Lloyd-Williams (Aberystwyth), Prysor Davies (Aberystwyth), Susan Chapman (Aberystwyth), Alwyn Ward (Aberystwyth), Rhodri Aled Evans (Aberystwyth).

On lives, on learning: Online – A study of the lived experiences of stakeholders in the education sector in mid-Wales during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Jonathan Fry (Aberystwyth), Roger Owen (Aberystwyth).


What are the priorities of consumers and theatre Venue Managers in rural Wales when returning to live events?

  • 40-3.00



Presentations – Track 2

Theme: Covid19 – Economic Impact and Regeneration


Matthew Price (Aberystwyth)


The impact of Covid19 on the small high street


Lyndon Murphy (Aberystwyth), Wyn Morris (Aberystwyth), Sophie Bennett (Aberystwyth)


Influencing community regeneration policy in Wales post Covid-19 an analysis of stakeholder discourse


Mandy Talbot (Aberystwyth)


Farm Tourism in Wales: operators, impacts and the potential impact of Covid 19 and Brexit.


Louise Manning (Royal Agricultural University).


Food fraud in a pandemic


Aloysius Igboekwu (Aberystwyth), Sarah Lindop (Aberystwyth), Maria Plotnikova (Aberystwyth).


The economic impact of COVID-19 on Ceredigion in Wales (working title)

4.35 – 5.15pm

Plenary - points of action (including Pan-Wales Conference 2021 discussion)

Working Journal

The CLaRE (working) research journal is a peer-reviewed, online, social science journal for staff, students, university partners, and stakeholders at Aberystwyth University. Its interests range across the full spectrum of the social sciences – as well as addressing the use of creative practice within social science contexts. It is specifically aimed at helping academics, practitioners, PhD and DProf students prepare work for publishing. Submitting work to the CLaRE Research Journal does not preclude publishing externally; in fact, it is the aim of this Journal to support the creation of work that is suitable for publishing in external outlets.  The primary audience of the journal is a readership associated with Aberystwyth University, including lecturers, students and university stakeholders who are interested in contemporary social science issues, processes and experiences. The journal will be published online via the Aberystwyth Business School website, twice a year, in December and June.


Submission Guidelines:

Submissions should be either a SINGLE Word document or PDF document and should be between 6,000 and 10,000 words (including list of works cited). Manuscripts which exceed the upper word limit will not be accepted.  Submissions should be sent to Dr Sophie Bennett-Gillison sob@aber.ac.uk

All types of articles will be considered including but not limited to: empirical research, case studies, industry specific reports, researcher’s notes, and explorations of creative practice within a socio-cultural context.


Guidelines for structuring your article can be found here Article structure for CLaRE


Declaration of interest: All authors must disclose any financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that could inappropriately influence (bias) their work. Details of funders should be provided also.

Authorship: Authors should provide a definitive and ordered list of authors at the time of the submission

References: There are no strict requirements on reference formatting at submission. References can be in any style or format as long as the style is consistent. Where applicable, author(s) name(s), journal title/book title, chapter title/article title, year of publication, volume number/book chapter and the article number or pagination must be present. Use of DOI is highly encouraged.

Formatting requirements: There are no strict formatting requirements but all manuscripts must contain the essential elements needed to convey your manuscript, for example Abstract, Keywords, Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Conclusions, Artwork and Tables with Captions. Please divide the article into clearly defined sections.

Figures and tables embedded in text: Please ensure the figures and the tables included in the single file are placed next to the relevant text in the manuscript, rather than at the bottom or the top of the file.

Editorial Team

Manuscripts will be assigned two reviewers from the list below. Reviewers will provide a written review which will be passed to the author. Editors and reviewers reserve the right to remain anonymous.

Editor-in-chief’s:   Dr Sophie Bennett-Gillison & Dr Julio Munoz (Business School)

Dr Ian Birchmore (Business School)

Professor Mererid Hopwood (Welsh and Celtic Studies)

Professor Matthew Jarvis (Creative Writing)

Dr Lyndon Murphy (Business School)

Professor Andrew Thomas  (Business School)

Professor Michael Woods (Geography and Earth Sciences)

Professor Reyer Zwiggelaar (Computer Science)





Recent publications:


        Fair Pay for Writers Report, 2023.


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


  • Barjolle, D., Midmore, P. & Schmid, O., (2018) Tracing the Pathways from Research to Innovation: Evidence from Case Studies. In: EuroChoices.17, 1, p. 11-18. 
  • Bennett, S., Rahman, R. & Fuller-Love, N., (2018). The Rural Artistic Entrepreneur: Exploring Motivational Tension and Creative Production in Rural Economies. In : Revue de l'Entrepreneuriat.1, 17, p. 29-38. 
  • Gkartzios, M. & Remoundou, K., (2018) Language struggles: Representations of the countryside and the city in an era of mobilities. In: Geoforum.93, p. 1-10. 
  • Khorana, S & Perdikis, N (2018). Modelling the Economic Impact of Brexit on the Welsh Economy. Welsh Assembly, Aberystwyth University, pp 1-41 
  • Midmore, P., (2018) Realising the Potential of European Agricultural Science Impacts. In: EuroChoices.17, 1, p. 31. 
  • Morley, B & Thomas, D, (2018) Covariance Risk and the Ripple Effect in the UK Regional Housing Market.  In: Review of Economics and Finance. 12, 3, p. 1-13. 
  • Morris,W. & Bowen, R., (2018). Digital Divide: Broadband access implications on agribusiness in rural Wales. 
  • Williams, K., Williams, J. & Thomas, D., (2018) Why are the British Bad at Manufacturing? Routledge Journals, 1 ed.,Taylor & Francis Ltd. p. 288. (Routledge Library Editions: Industrial Economics). 
  • Woods, M., Bowen, R., Dwyer, J., Jones, R. D., Liddon, A., Marsden, T., Midmore, P., Shortall, S., Williams, P. & Wynne-Jones, S., (2018) After Brexit: 10 Key Questions for Rural Policy in Wales. Centre for Rural Economy Newcastle University. p. 17. 


  • Bennett, S. & Bowen, R., (2017) Brexit: Implications for the Food and Craft Industries
  • Gkartzios, M., Remoundou, K. & Garrod, G., (2017) Emerging geographies of mobility: The role of regional towns in Greece's 'counterurbanisation story'.  , In : Journal of Rural Studies.55, p. 22-32. 
  • Midmore, P., (2017) The science of impact and the impact of agricultural science. In : Journal of Agricultural Economics.68, 3, p. 611-631. 
  • Midmore, P., (2017) Agricultural science research impact in the Eastern European Union Member States. In: Studies in Agricultural Economics.119, 1, p. 1-10. 
  • Morris, W., Henley, A. & Dowell, D., (2017) , Farm diversification, entrepreneurship and technology adoption: Analysis of upland farmers in Wales.  In : Journal of Rural Studies.53, p. 132-143. 
  • Morris, D. & James, W., (2017) Social Media, an Entrepreneurial Opportunity for Agricultural Based Enterprises.  In : Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development.24, 4, p. 1028-1045. 
  • Munoz, J. R., Griffin, T., & Humbracht, M. (2017). Towards a new definition for “visiting friends and relatives”. International Journal of Tourism Research. 19(5), 477-485. 

  • Munoz, J. R. (2017). The role of students as hosts of VFR travellers: How does the host affect the visitor's experience of a destination. Working paper in CAUTHE 2017: Time For Big Ideas? Re-thinking the Field For Tomorrow. 771-773. 

  • Munoz, J. R. (2017). Is VFR the forgotten link of the collaborative economy? A comparative analysis of VFR, Airbnb and Couchsurfing experiences. IFITTtalk Surrey Think Tank: Collaborative Economy. 

  • Munoz, J. R., Griffin, T., & Humbracht, M. (2017). Towards a new definition for “visiting friends and relatives”. Bournemouth University International Conference: The Visitor Economy, Strategies and Innovations. 

  • Ntim, C. G., Lindop, S. J., Thomas, D. A., Abdou, H. & Opong, K. K., (2017) Executive Pay and Performance: The Moderating Effect of CEO Power and Governance Structure. In : International Journal of Human Resource Management. p. 1-43. 
  • Nunes, S., Lopes, R. & Fuller-Love, N., (2017) Networking, Innovation and Firms' Performance: Portugal as Illustration.  In : Journal of the Knowledge Economy. 


  • Bowen, R. & Bennett, S., (2016) Selling places: Using place-based marketing to promote regional produce: The case of Rhondda Cynon Taff
  • Fuller-Love, N., Hasnain, S. S. & Jasimuddin, S. M., (2016) Exploring Cause, Taxonomies, Mechanisms and Barriers Influencing Knowledge Transfer: Empirical Studies in NGOs.  In : Information Resources Management Journal.29, 1, p. 39-56 18 p., 3. 
  • Holland, K., Lindop, S. & Zainudin, F., (2016) Tax Avoidance: a threat to corporate legitimacy? an examination of companies' financial and CSR reports. In: British Tax Review vol 2016, no. 3 
  • Morley, B & Thomas, D, (2016) An Empirical Analysis of UK House Price Risk Variation by Property Type  In: Review of Economics and Finance. 6, 2, p. 45-56 p. 
  • Munoz, J. R. (2016). The role of students as hosts of VFR travellers: How do hosts influence their visitor's experience. University of Surrey Hospitality and Tourism Management Conference 2016, 'Making an Impact: Creating Constructive Conversations'. 
  • Plotnikova, M., Romero, I. & Martínez-Román, J. A., (2016) Process innovation in small businesses: the self-employed as entrepreneurs. In : Small Business Economics.p. 1-16. 
  • Plotnikova, M., Romero, I. & Martínez-Román, J. A., (2016) Process innovation in small businesses: the self-employed as entrepreneurs. In : Small Business Economics.p. 1-16. 
  • Plotnikova, M., Sarangi, S. & Swaminathan, S., (2016) On the Relationship between Spillovers and Bundling. In : Manchester School.84, 2, p. 181-196. 
  • Plotnikova, M., Tumanov, A. & Zhelezova, E., (2016) Evolution of the Housing Finance System in Russia.  Milestones in European Housing Finance. Lunde, J. & Whitehead, C. (eds.). Wiley, p. 325-339 (Real Estate Issues). 
  • Remoundou, K., Gkartzios, M. & Garrod, G., (2016) Conceptualizing Mobility in Times of Crisis: Towards Crisis-Led Counterurbanization? In : Regional Studies.50, 10, p. 1663-1674. 
  • Talbot, A., (2016) Farm Tourism: A new peasantry perspective p. 45. 


  • Breitsohl, J., Wilcox, J. P. & Harris, I. (2015) Groupthink 2.0: An empirical analysis of customers' conformity-seeking in online communities.  In : Journal of Customer Behaviour.14, 2, p. 87-106. 
  • Fuller-Love, N., (2015) Female Entrepreneurship in East Asia. Handbook of East Asian Entrepreneurship. Fu-Lai Yu, T. & Yan, H-D. (eds.). Taylor & Francis, p. 191-201. 
  • Ntim, C. G., Lindop, S., Osei, K. A. & Thomas, D. A., (2015) Executive Compensation, Corporate Governance and Corporate Performance: A Simultaneous Equation Approach  In: Managerial and Decision Economics.36, 2, p. 67-96. 
  • Thomas, D, (2015) Tinopolis to Tinopolis: A Century of Industrial Change . In Amrywiaeth Llanelli Miscellany, 28, p. 53-65. 


  • Bennett, S.S., McGuire, S. & Rahman, R. J., (2014) Living Hand to Mouth: Why the Bohemian Lifestyle Does Not Lead to Wealth Creation in Peripheral Regions. In : European Planning Studies.23, 12, p. 2390-2403. 
  • Fuller-Love, N., Power, J., Sinnott, E. & O'Gorman, B., (2014) Developing self-facilitating learning networks for entrepreneurs: a guide to action.  In : International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business.21, 3, p. 334-352 p. 
  • Lindop, S., Holland, K. & Zainudin, F., (2014). What do companies tell us about their corporate income taxation affairs? 
  • Plotnikova, M., (2014) The Effect of Prior Educational Achievement on Academic outcomes in Economics at a UK University
  • Talbot, A. & Cater, C. I.( 2014) Student-led Planning of Tourism and Hospitality Education: The Use of Wikis to Enhance Student Learning.  The Routledge Handbook of Tourism and Hospitality Education. Airey, D., Dredge, D. & Gross, M. J. (eds.). Taylor & Francis.

CLaRE Conferences

CLaRE and the Regional Centre of Expertise (Resilient communities) Community regeneration post-COVID-19: challenges and opportunities

CLaRE Second annual conference 

Thursday 29th June, 2023

This year's conference includes contributions exploring leadership, the role of trust and power in relationships, marketing, the use of language in economic development, the circular economy in Wales, and local economic development, amongst others. Presentations are to be delivered from colleagues representing African, European and UK based universities. 

The keynote speaker for this year's conference is Prof Etienne Nel (University of Otago), who will deliver a presentation entitled 'New Zealand's 'left behind places': State and community responses to persistent uneven development.'

The papers delivered at this year’s conference consider a wide variety of subject matter from the role of trust and power in relationships to the impact of Covid19 on high street regeneration, from the use of language in economic development to the technology transfer value chain in Ghana, and from an ethnographic approach to online marketing to the era of Industry 5.0. Finally, the Business School is delighted to welcome keynote speaker Professor Etienne Nel.

Conference Programme - CLaRE 2023

CLaRE and RCE Conference proceedings 2023


First Annual Conference

Thursday May 19th 2022, Aberystwyth University - 10:00AM

The Regenerating Communities conference seeks to promote research relating to the impact that COVID-19 has had on urban and rural communities. It aims to showcase the research of academics, practitioners, and research students engaged in a broad range of community regeneration activity.

Full proceedings for the Conference can be found in the link below:

CLaRE and RCE Conference Proceedings - 2022