Strategy & Baselining

A well thought-out strategy or plan is an integral part of delivering a successful project, programme or policy, and this starts with understanding what is actually trying to be achieved and why. Environmental scanning, needs assessment and baselining provide the evidence base for the development of strategy, setting objectives and building a credible business case.  abre has experience in each of these areas and can help with developing new strategies or reviewing and revising existing ones.


Blackwater Valley Economic Strategies – Kada Research for Hart, Surrey Heath and Rushmoor Councils

Between 2014 and 2015, Andrew was involved in reviewing and updating the economic strategies for three of the UK’s most prosperous boroughs with significant industrial strengths, environmental assets and high quality of life, but facing challenges such as limited land supply, stretched transport infrastructure and high residential costs. Andrew undertook the baselining exercise for the strategies involving collation, analysis and reporting for over 100 socio-economic indicators. Link to the Surrey Heath report

Public Expenditure and Investment Study – ekosgen for BeBirmingham

Andrew led on the environmental and community safety components for this wide-ranging investment mapping study for the Birmingham Community Partnership.  His research involved consultation with a wide range of organisations and senior stakeholders, and the study found that nearly £7bn was spent annually in the city that could be used to align with city objectives.  Link to the report

Public Survey of Policing Services – Leger for Ottawa Police Service

The tri-annual public survey is a valuable research tool to help ensure OPS delivers a service that meets the expectations of citizens.  Andrew managed the 2012 edition that was conducted externally and used a new methodology whereby survey invite letters were mailed to 16,000 households and residents responded online.  Andrew was involved in the set-up, contracting and dissemination of findings. Link to the report

Sector Analysis Study – ekosgen for Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council

Andrew managed a Borough-wide survey of over 400 businesses and led on the findings report as part of a local economic assessment.  The evidence was used to shape Walsall’s economic strategy, including a thorough mapping of individual sector strengths and skills needs.

Sector Mapping and Prioritisation – ekosgen for Forest Heath District Council

Andrew contributed to this mapping exercise of economic activity in Forest Heath with a focus on opportunities from the Newmarket equine sector, plus public procurement from large military and tourism employers in the area. His involvement included sector profiling, business survey design and strategic consultations.

Mapping the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Sector – ekosgen for the UK Department for Business

Andrew was involved in the national mapping of one of the UK’s fastest-growing sectors.  The research relied on secondary research alongside an online questionnaire which Andrew helped to design and circulate to over 50,000 businesses.  Over 1,200 responses were received and this was used to inform the final report.

Testing Market Demand for Incubation Facilities – ekosgen for Innovation City Leeds

Andrew contributed to this review of market demand for incubation facilities aimed at emerging healthcare technology businesses in Leeds.  It was envisaged that future facilities should link to the city’s universities and the strong financial and professional services sectors.  The appraisal included a survey of healthcare technology firms and development labs in the city-region, facility specifications and an assessment of capital costs.

Market Intelligence and Benchmarking e-Adoption, ekosgen for Connecting Somerset

Andrew advised on a survey of over 6,000 businesses and organisations that were users or non-users of the Connecting Somerset initiative.  He analysed findings to present current e-Adoption levels in Somerset and to inform how the initiative could evolve in the future.

Sheffield Economic Masterplan, ekosgen for Sheffield City Council

The high-profile Masterplan was commissioned as a means for identifying priorities and opportunities in the coming decades, and to provide strategic guidance on how these aims could be achieved.  Andrew collected data and analysed the evidence base concerning Sheffield’s economic performance and future projections. Link to the report

Doncaster Economic Strategy, ekosgen for Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council

ekosgen was commissioned to produce the economic strategy for Doncaster and Andrew was involved in the in-depth assessment of socio-economic characteristics and prospects for the Borough.  Findings were organised into an evidence-based strategy that set out how Doncaster could become a successful European City by 2025.

Strategic Review of West Midlands European Service, ekosgen for West Midlands Councils

Andrew managed this review of local authorities’ support for trans-European collaborations and European funding bids.  He led on stakeholder consultations, oversaw development of a user-survey of 900+ organisations and led on reporting.

RDPE Bid Support for Greater Dartmoor, ekosgen for West Devon Borough Council

RDPE is jointly funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the UK Government (DEFRA), and Andrew contributed to this bid on behalf of multiple district authorities in Devon.  He undertook detailed data analysis of the socio-economic profile for the Greater Dartmoor area backed up by GIS mapping.

Appraisal of Proposed Incubation Centre, ekosgen for a Yorkshire College

ekosgen was commissioned by an established Yorkshire college to undertake an appraisal of its planned incubator for creative and digital businesses.  Andrew took a lead role on the assignment which included cost-benefit analysis following Green Book and EP guidance, centre configuration and suggested specifications.  The appraisal involved consultations with the local Council and Yorkshire Forward.

ERDF ‘Outside but Serving’ Appraisals, ekosgen for Government Office for the West Midlands

Andrew was responsible for technical appraisals of a museum development in Shrewsbury and rail-freight facilities in Telford and Wrekin on behalf of GO-WM. Outside but serving criteria is applied where the intervention is physically based outside of eligible areas but where the majority of benefits fall to target groups.