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Enterprise hubs to support rural development

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Ian Merrell, Professor Jeremy Phillipson, Matthew Gorton



This is the final published version of a report that has been published in its final definitive form by National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise, 2022.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Rural Enterprise Hubs (REHs) are mechanisms for bringing together rural businesses. The co-location of businesses drives innovation through knowledge exchange, where face-to-face contact still matters. They provide additional opportunities to network, acquire knowledge, form new collaborations, and create synergies between tenants. REHs can also act as a platform through which business support organisations can deliver their support. This review provides an overview of what are REHs, and the academic literature on their benefits and factors affecting their performance. It identifies that hub managers play a vital role as knowledge providers, brokering collaborations and sign-posting tenants to necessary support. REHs bring multiple benefits to their tenants, some of which are economic (improvementsto their businesses and productivity) whilst others are more social and psychological (improvements to well-being).

Publication metadata

Author(s): Merrell I, Phillipson J, Gorton M

Series Editor(s): National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise

Publication type: Report

Publication status: Published

Series Title: State of the Art Review

Type: Report

Year: 2022

Print publication date: 06/10/2022

Online publication date: 06/10/2022

Acceptance date: 06/10/2022

Report Number: 5

Institution: National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise

Place Published: Newcastle Upon Tyne


ePrints DOI: 10.57711/029g-ra84