Project Experience


Project Experience

In almost 20 years involvement in consultancy Graham has successfully completed around 500 projects across the full spectrum of economic development.  A flavour of his most recent work is summarised below.  A more detailed experience sheet for each service is available on request.

Area Based Economic and Labour Market Analysis   

Short Economic Reviewsa desk based research study that provides regional economic intelligence for Scottish Enterprise’s five regions as well as a national review.  

Mapping People and Skills at RAF Kinloss – a talent mapping exercise that allow Skills Development Scotland and partners to build a skills profile of people at RAF Kinloss with the aim of constructing a ‘talent bank’ - this will contribute to the strategy for economic regeneration to bring inward investment into Moray and surrounding areas.   

South Yorkshire City Employment Strategy – as part of a wider evaluation of a Department of Work and Pensions approach to addressing employability issues, conducted an economic and labour market study aimed at examining the extent to which the public sector intervention has impacted upon employment rates, increased numbers in work and reduced child poverty.   

Local Area Agreements – as part of a wider study into employment and skills development interventions in South Yorkshire examined a range of economic and labour market indicator data to determine the extent to which progress has been made against a number of local area targets.  The targets were linked to employment and unemployment rates, economic inactivity, qualification attainment and reducing inequalities across a range of demographic groups.   

Single Outcome Agreements – reviewed a range of economic and labour market data aimed at shedding light on whether an employability programme in West Dunbartonshire had contributed to a number of Single Outcome Agreements.  The indicators focused on employment rates, unemployment rates, economic inactivity, benefit claimants and a range of deprivation indicators.     

Economic Impact Assessments/Appraisals   

Skill Development 

  • EIA of a programme – North East Productivity Alliance Best Practice - aimed at instilling lean manufacturing processes within manufacturing businesses within the North East through training key employees to cascade their learning throughout the company.
  • EIA of Rolls Royce’s Project ACE.  Project ACE included a number of relevant components: Leadership Training; Team Based Working; and Skills Transition Training.


  • Numerous EIAs of sporting and cultural events and festivals.  Beginning in 1996 with an evaluation of the Oasis concert in Balloch, and including impact evaluations of international sporting events (tennis’s Davis Cup, World Badminton, under 21 and 19 World Rugby World Mountain Bike and Cross Country Running championships) and cultural events (Magners Comedy Festival Aberdeen Youth Festival and Glasgow River Festival). 
  • Jodrell Bank Visitor Attraction – economic appraisal of proposal from the University of Manchester for the redevelopment of the Jodrell Bank’s visitor centre and arboretum, and development of a heritage site.  The appraisal helped the University secure ERDF and public sector funding.
  • VisitScotland Glasgow – conducted an economic impact assessment of the funding provided by Glasgow City Council to VisitScotland to promote the City to prospective tourists.
  • Visual Arts Centre – economic appraisal of a proposal for a new build visual arts centre in Aberdeen, which also include a strategic and market appraisal.  

Regeneration Masterplans and Physical Developments  

  • Aberdeen Beach Regeneration – appraisal of a range of proposals aimed at strengthening the product.
  • Ravenscraig - appraisal of a £1bn project aimed at transforming the former British Steel site.
  • Caltongate – appraisal of a £300m redevelopment of a historic part of Edinburgh City Centre. 

Project/Programme Evaluation  

  • Enterprise Facilitator Programme.  Conducted a strategic review of a community-led initiative that provides mentoring and business support by local entrepreneurs and business leaders aimed at assisting the growth of local businesses.
  • Technology and Science Parks. Evaluations of the economic benefits resulting from the development of the SE Technology Park and West of Scotland Science Park and the business development support provided to tenants.
  • Graduate Programmes.  Evaluations of a range of programmes aimed at supporting small business through the employment of new graduates, including developing the market failure rationale for continued public sector support for the initiatives.
  • North West Regional Forecasting Panel.  An evaluation of the role played by the forecasts, by a panel of business and economic experts,  in informing private and public sector decision making.
  • Borders and Dumfries and Galloway Construction Industry Forums. The evaluation focused on monitoring the progress of each Forum against its ERDF project targets. The study involves interviews with the construction companies located in the Scottish Borders and in Dumfries and Galloway.
  • Highlands and Islands Construction & Building Services Contracts Study.  This study evaluated the likely scale of activity and the capacity of the construction and building services sectors to meet increases in demand over a five year period.  

Skills and Employability  

  • Evaluation of the North East Productivity Alliance Best Practice (NEPA BP) NEPA BP was set up as a knowledge transfer project aimed at increasing the competitive level of the manufacturing base in the region through the development of the skills of key employees.  The evaluation focused on measuring the impact of NEPA BP on the performance of participating companies and the career development of the Change Engineers and Change Agents who delivered the training. 
  • Evaluation of Skills for Scotland.  The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) has developed a small pilot project to explore the possibilities of providing computer assisted assessment in Skills for Work courses.  The evaluation, involving strategic consultation and engagement with pupils and their teachers/tutors.
  • Moray Skills Mapping Study.  The study maps the skills of people who will leave their employment at RAF Kinloss over the next 18 months and who have a preference to remain in the area.  The map has informed the development of a talent bank and helped the development of a new economic diversification and inward investment strategy to attract potential investors into Moray.
  • South Yorkshire City Strategy Pathfinder Project.  The evaluation of this new approach to tackling worklessness in the most disadvantaged communities across the UK.  The evaluation has examined in detail a wide range of performance monitoring data, undertaken a consultation programme with key stakeholders and funders, plus group discussions with frontline staff in delivery agents and focus groups discussions with beneficiaries across the full continuum of support.
  • Employability and Skill Development Initiatives.  The local authorities in South Yorkshire – Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield – have used a range of funding mechanisms to support a wide range of activity linked to addressing the employability needs of workless people in preparation for entry into mainstream labour market activity.  The work programme has included consultations with local level government agencies (JCP, LSC and the regional development agency) as well as frontline staff of delivery agents and customers of their services.