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Personal profile

Academic Biography

Nick joined Teesside from Northumbria University where he completed a PhD on regional governance and economies in England, and the notion of place based or ‘place sensitive’ development.  Prior to this Nick worked as policy advisor in Local Government, covering multiple policy areas including economic analysis, devolution and regional governance, welfare reform, migration and asylum, and social inclusion. In this role, Nick’s successful projects included, A living wage for NewcastleThe Newcastle Fairness Commission, and the Newcastle Future Needs Assessment – a collaborative and evidence-based approach to bringing partners together to determine priorities for the city.

Nick’s research interests include regional governance and development (particularly UK regional economic inequality), labour markets, and social security policy. He is an experienced qualitative researcher, including interviewing and content analysis and he also expert in the use of quantitative data to develop and evaluate public policy.

Professional associations

  • Fellow of the Regional Studies Association and former North East England regional chair 

Journal papers

  • Pugalis, L and Gray, N (2016) - New regional development paradigms: an exposition of place-based modalities - The Australasian Journal of Regional Studies
  • Pugalis, L; Townsend, A; Gray, N and Ankowska, A (2017) New approaches to growth planning at larger-than-local scales: Journal of Urban Regeneration & Renewal

Book chapters

  • Gray, N; Pugalis, L; Dickinson, D (2018) ‘The Northern Powerhouse meets the Cities and Local Growth agenda: Local economic policymaking and agglomeration in practice’, in: Berry, C & Giovannini, A, eds. Developing England’s North: The political economy of the northern powerhouse, London, Palgrave Macmillan
  • Gray, N. & Pugalis, L. (2016): 'Place-based subnational development: Unpacking some of the key conceptual strands and normative dispositions', in: Schoburgh, E. D. & Ryan, R., eds. The Handbook of Research on Subnational Governance and Development, Hershey, Pennsylvania, IGI Global.
  • Pugalis, L; Gray, N and Townsend, A (2016) – ‘The resilience of growth strategies’in, Williams, N & Vorley, T  Creating economic resilience; entrepreneurship, growth and development in uncertain times, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar Publishing

 Other publications

  • Pugalis, L; Townsend, A; Gray, N; and Ankowska, A (2015) - Planning for Growth: The Role of Local Enterprise Partnerships in England – Royal Town Planning Institute
  • Pugalis, L; Townsend, A; Ankowska, A and Gray, N (2015) - A renaissance of strategic economic planning - Terrier Vol.20, Issue 3, Autumn 2015, pp. 14-7
  • Pugalis, L; Townsend, A; Gray, N; and Ankowska, A (2015) - The role of Strategic Economic Plans in filling the strategic void? - Town & Country Planning Vol.84, No.9, pp. 384-391 

Selected conference papers

  • Gray, N; Pugalis, L and Townsend, A (2015) – Austere Growth Strategies – Conference paper: Tackling spatial inequalities: the prospects for economic development and regeneration at Sheffield Hallam University
  • Gray, N and Pugalis, L (2015) Devolution as deal making – Conference paper: The Political Economy of the Northern Powerhouse at Sheffield University

Research Projects & External Funding at Teesside University

  • Mental Health Trailblazer Evaluation. Awarded April 2020. North of England Commissioning Support Unit. Total grant: £19931. Co-Investigator.
  • You've Got This Intervention Mapping. Awarded March 2020. Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council. Total grant: £20,549. Co Investigator. 
  • Enhancing Place-Based-Partnerships in public engagement. Awarded December 2019. UK Research & Innovation. Total grant: £27,585. Co-Investigator.
  • Evaluation of Heroin Assisted Treatment Pilot Programme. Awarded October 2019. Public Health Middlesbrough; Total grant: £6,434. Co-Investigator.



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