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OUR PROJECTS

Learn about how we have supported our amazing clients to navigate the post-COVID, post-Brexit business environment

CAMBRIDGESHIRE & PETERBOROUGH BUSINESS SUPPORT SYSTEM REVIEW

When: 2023

The brief: provide an interim evaluation of the Growth Works suite of business support services to inform future procurement; analyse the broader business support ecosystem in the CPCA area; propose a future-oriented system that aligns with research and evolving understanding of operational best practices, funding and policy landscapes. Consider how reform of business support programmes in the CPCA area could be affected by future devolution of powers from central government, similar to those in other Combined Authority areas.

What we delivered: a forward-looking review rated 'excellent' by the client that delivered innovative insights into enterprise support and inward investment, considering changing funding sources and priorities in the region.

Cogs and gears

LOCAL SKILLS IMPROVEMENT PLAN FOR SOUTH YORKSHIRE

Working for Doncaster Chamber with South Yorkshire Chambers of Commerce. 

When: 2023

The brief: assemble the evidence base to underpin the Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) for South Yorkshire. Conduct primary research (through analysing survey and interview responses) to estimate the demand for and supply of digital skills to the region's employers, providing recommendations on priority actions for bridging the gaps.

What we delivered: a comprehensive evidence base into the state of digital skills in South Yorkshire that supported timely sign-off of the LSIP in the summer of 2023. The demand and supply estimates contained in the LSIP are now being used by the region's training and education providers to plan provision in line with employer need. 

Read South Yorkshire LSIP >>

Factory workers learning how to use a numerical control machine

Somerset Economic Futures

Working for Somerset County Council (later incorporated into Somerset Council) with collaboration partner Third Life Economics

When: 2022-2023

The brief: as a foundation for the economic strategy review of the new unitary Somerset Council, use futures thinking to develop alternative scenarios for the administrative county that can be helpful in making choices about priorities and plans.

What we delivered: a major evidence review of over 50 datasets and 30 reports; conducted stakeholder interviews, community ‘discovery sessions’ – workshops that tested and developed both the findings of the evidence review and four alternative futures/scenarios. Developed practical tools/models for using futures thinking in strategy, policy development  and performance management systems.

Read more >>

Nature Friendly Modern Building

NORTH OF TYNE / NORTH EAST INNOVATION PROSPECTUS

When: 2022

The brief: set out how NTCA and its partners can maximise the innovation potential of their geography; improve 
its positioning and preparedness for government funding and priorities relating to innovation.  

What we delivered: an ambitious innovation prospectus, co-created with partners across business, government, higher education and civic society.  A core set of place marketing collateral and economic evidence to sell the region's biggest investment opportunities to the outside world: those linked to innovation in the most promising economic clusters. The prospectus informed the content of the North East devolution deal (2022) that relates to investment in innovation; and to the ongoing development of the North East Investment Zone.

Future of offshore wind, electrification, and life sciences in North East England

MENTORING MATTERS

Working for Enterprise Nation ahead of National Mentoring Day

When: 2022

The brief: through primary research, analyse the market for business mentoring in the UK - its size, potential for impact, and the barriers and incentives to getting involved. 

What we delivered: analysis based on focus groups and an online survey of over 800 business leaders that uncovered the critical role that mentors can play in business success.  The report estimated that converting potential mentoring relationships into real ones could lead to 118,000 new business mentors and 284,000 more businesses getting support.

Read more >>

Business mentoring session

SMALL BUSINESS TECH ADOPTION IN THE UK

Working for Enterprise Nation and Dropbox 

When: 2021

The brief: through primary research, analyse the potential of tech tools to improve the performance of micro and small businesses. Uncover the barriers that they, policymakers and tech suppliers need to address to exploit their economic and social potential. 

What we delivered: analysis based on a survey of 900 business leaders that measured take up, time-savings and other benefits for a range of tech tools. It measured the role of tech in enabling business continuity during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The report identified barriers to take-up and recommendations to policymakers, industry players and customers. 

Read more >>

Operating a Drone

WEST MIDLANDS (UK) FUTURE BUSINESS SUPPORT SYSTEM

Working with collaboration partner Metro Dynamics for the West Midlands Combined Authority Strategic Economic Development Board (bringing together the WMCA with the area's Local Enterprise Partnerships, metropolitan borough councils and Growth Company).

When: 2021

The brief: design a fit-for-purpose business support system for a post-pandemic, zero-carbon, technically-enabled world within new UK public funding frameworks.

What we delivered: recommendations for reform based on four 'pillars': a genuine customer journey that meets the expectations of today's businesses; branded, universal elements available to firms across the region, targeted premium products, identified by a sophisticated local insight and evaluation programme; proactive outreach and campaigns to drive take up of services.

Read more >>

Birmingham Canal

SOUTH YORKSHIRE (UK) CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE POLICY PROGRAMME

Working with Doncaster, Sheffield and Barnsley & Rotherham Chambers of Commerce. 

When: 2021-2023

The brief: through high-impact business policy research, thought leadership, member and partner engagement, position South Yorkshire as a model for positive, private-sector civic activism and leadership.

What we delivered: revamp of the region's flagship Quarterly Economic Survey and its associated outputs;  establishing new models of member engagement in shaping policy such as business citizens assemblies; creating a Sheffield city-regional voice for the Chamber movement in South Yorkshire through common media and public affairs initiatives.

Sheffield Town Hall and water fountains

SURREY (UK) POST-COVID, POST-BREXIT SOCIO-ECONOMIC TRENDS

Working with collaboration partner Third Life Economics for Surrey County Council

When: 2020

The brief: identify emerging post-pandemic, post-Brexit socio-economic trends and their relevance for Surrey's future
economic growth, business communities and development strategies.

What we delivered: an evidence review that selected 11 high-priority trends to watch and recommendations for how to operationalise evidence for each in decision-making and economic visioning.

Read our follow-up think piece >>

Guildford High Street at night

DORSET (UK) COVID IMPACTS AND RECOVERY

When: 2020

The brief: estimate the evolving impact of COVID-19 on Dorset's business environment.  Review prospects for the county's economic recovery, the uncertainties, new dynamics, and priorities for forward planning.

What we delivered: an evidence review of the channels to impact across businesses, investors, consumers, pubic spending and the labour market. Practical recommendations on how to flex the delivery of Dorset's Local Industrial Strategy for the post-pandemic context.

Read more >>

Durdle Door panorama

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY GUIDE: CAMBRIDGESHIRE AND PETERBOROUGH (UK)

When: 2020-2021

The brief: produce a step-by-step guide to refreshing the Local Industrial Strategy and associated business sector plans for the post-COVID socio-economic context.

What we delivered: analysis of the post-pandemic trends emerging in mid-late 2020, the uncertainties surrounding different scenarios for economic change, the implications for Cambridgeshire & Peterborough and what this meant in practice for CPCA strategies. The 4-stage plan for strategy refreshes was applied to the area's Local Economic Recovery Strategy, Skills and Adult Education Budget (AEB) Commissioning Plan; and sector visions for Agri-tech; Advanced Manufacturing and Materials; Life Sciences; and Digital.

Read more >>

Cambridge Food Market

RESTART, REBUILD, RENEW PLAN FOR A POST-PANDEMIC UK ECONOMY

When: 2020

The brief: support BCC in developing its policy priorities for a post-COVID business environment.

 

What we delivered: a three-phase plan for reopening the UK economy ('Restart, Rebuild. Renew') that drew on the experience of Chambers, their members, and their first-hand understanding of the approaches being adopted internationally.

Read more >>

Covid 19 particle

POLICY, PLACEMAKING AND CAMPAIGNS MENTORING, STAFFORDSHIRE (UK)

When: 2021

The brief: support capacity development around civic engagement on business policy.

 

What we delivered: mentoring sessions for key staff covering policy development, economic development strategy and campaigning for change.

 

See PolicyDepartment's Tip Sheets >>

View of the Ferry Bridge also known as the Stapenhill Ferry Bridge and the River Trent, Bu
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