As the song goes,
‘let’s start at the very beginning, it’s a very good place to start…’
We can’t run before we can walk, jump without looking first <insert other analogies ad infinitum>
What we’re saying is, the first step in any successful project is to complete a good feasibility study. It’s the all-important nosy through historical stuff, the local area, finances, trends, demographics, and lots of other data, to make sure we can succeed. Nobody should invest without a thorough Economic Impact Assessment…..
We use proven and robust research methodologies, and the latest stats (who doesn’t love a good spreadsheet?!) to accurately map demand and the effectiveness of any project proposal.
When asked by Hinkley and Bosworth Borough Council to assess the feasibility of converting the Atkins Building in Hinkley, our assessment of demand discovered the need for a mixed use, with dedicated space for creative artists but also with meeting and performance space, a cafe, and importantly commercial office space. This thriving centre and creative community opened in 2010, and business there is positively booming.
“I would like to commend Greenborough for its excellent work in undertaking a feasibility study and putting together a robust business case for the Atkins Centre…This work has helped greatly in realising the Council’s ambition for delivering a cultural enterprise in the heart of the new cultural quarter…It forms a key part of our ambitious regeneration strategy for the Town Centre”
Bill Cullen, Deputy CEO at HBBC
From huge science parks, to local grant funding, we have successfully delivered feasibility studies for a huge range of different projects – utilising our expertise, resources, and that fresh pair of eyes, to objectively and rationally uncover strengths and weaknesses of a suggested venture.
And why is this so important? Bottom line – it prevents costly mistakes, saves time and energy, and shows the clearest route to project success. Winner winner.
Once we know the feasibility of a project, we can crack on with the business plan. Collating all of the research, information and conclusions we have drawn from this study, we construct a professional plan to HM Treasury Green Book Requirements. (For more information about the current Green Book, check out this Green Book pdf.)
As our business plans are often utilised by Greenborough or our clients as the base evidence for funding applications, they are consistently drafted with this end use in mind.
These business plans can help understand the vision and actions of a new project in a clear and logical way, and can assist in securing support for the venture – whether that be financial, practical, private or public.
We were asked by the University of Leicester to develop a detailed Business Plan for a new Incubation Centre at the Leicester General Hospital site in the city. Taking the initial proposals from the clients we undertook a number of site visits, interviewed key stakeholders, undertook baseline demographic analysis and created a Business Plan based upon the University’s academic expertise in Diabetes Management and that supported the economic development of a local community.
Dr David Ward, Director of Enterprise and Business Development said:
“Greenborough’s team have prepared a number of Business Plans for the University of Leicester over the past few years. We use Greenborough because of their special ability to be able to understand the vision of a new project and articulate it through the necessary elements of the business planning process. Their plans are always thorough, well structured and – importantly – based on evidence. Their plans have helped the University raise significant amounts of public funding support”
If you want to work on a cracking Business Plan, together with our experienced and friendly team, please get in touch.
Show me the money! Show me the money!
Fans of Mr Maguire, or not, the hard cold fact of business proposals is, you’re gonna need a lot of money at some stage in your venture. And if it’s not readily available for your outgoings? Well then, you need a corker of a Funding Application to secure you some income.
We have written, advised and supported a substantial number of funding applications for clients over the past 5 years – ranging from the Higher Education Funding Council for England, through to the European Social Fund and European Regional Development Fund and, more recently, Regional Growth Fund applications.
We understand the language of public funding, (seriously, some of these forms need considerable translation into ‘normal speak’!) and the necessity to provide robust and transparent evidence to support these applications. Remember we talked about the Feasibility Studies and Business Plans? Yep those help. A lot.
Funding applications are hard work and involve extensive research. And coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. We know that the key is to build a proposal based upon well researched information about the project seeking the funding, and on the fund in question. Match up the two, and Bob’s your uncle! And Jerry Maguire will be most satisfied!
“The development of N Vision Centre Northampton, on the site of the former Kingsley Park School in Northampton, was supported by £2.75M of European Regional Development Fund money. Greenborough worked very closely with the team at the University of Northampton in researching, developing, and submitting the successful funding application”
Frank Burdett, Pro-Vice Chancellor at the University of Northampton was full of praise for the role that Greenborough have played in the development of this successful project:
The University of Northampton have turned to Greenborough on several occasions for work ranging from Innovation Centres, ERDF bids and HEFCE initiatives. Each time we have been impressed by the professionalism and commitment of Russell and the team. I am more than happy to recommend Greenborough.
If you would like to discuss ways in which we can help you complete successful Funding Applications, please get in touch.
Of course, having developed project ideas and taken them through successful funding applications, people figure they kinda like having us around. Russell reckons it’s because of his stunning sense of humour and irresistible charm…we’re not convinced!
But the fact remains, we are often asked to stay involved and to actually deliver the project throughout its life. Our strengths lie in the Project Management arena with our core staff who are specialists in this field working closely alongside partners and associates to ensure the successful delivery and implementation of these exciting new ventures.
There really is nothing more satisfying for us to be able to see a project, well executed and delivered successfully.
This was the case with the Derbyshire Well Connected project, for clients at Derbyshire Economic Partnership. This was a 2 year project, designed to increase the appetite for small and medium businesses in Derbyshire to use broadband and ICT more effectively. Managed by Greenborough, with delivery support from specialist organisations throughout the region and beyond, the project exceeded all of its funded objectives. Further information on this project can be found at www.derbyshire-wellconnected.co.uk
“DEP have been clients of Greenborough Management on a variety of projects and have found their approach to project management to be very thorough, innovative and flexible. Delivering a large scale ICT and Broadband programme on our behalf, we needed an experienced project manager to come in, understand the work and simply deliver the project. We were impressed with Greenborough’s diligence, versatility and that the projects were delivered on time and within budget”
Sonja Smith of the Derbyshire Economic Partnership
At the end of the funded project lifecycle, alongside toasting a job well done (a good beverage features highly in every stage of the cycle, we find) we use our skills, experience and understanding of the other four phases of the project to provide clients with robust, yet pragmatic, evaluations of their projects. That means honesty, brace yourselves!
Taking time to reflect and analyse in a clear, transparent and conscientious way allows us to learn and improve, and help you to do the same too.
We have evaluated a number of projects and interventions for Prospect IP. Most recently, we have been contracted to provide the formal external evaluation of their ERDF funded project. Taking a holistic view of the project we interviewed key project staff, project delivery partners and agents and surveyed the beneficiary audience. This gave us a complete view of the impact that the project had delivered both to the businesses to whom it was targeted, and to the region as a whole.
We also undertook a detailed evaluation of their own project management methodologies; from document management to output verification, from financial accounting to procurement. Further information can be found at: www.prospectip.co.uk
Derek Palmer, Head of Prospect IP, said:
“We commissioned Greenborough to undertake the evaluation of our funded project and found them to be very professional, thorough and insightful. They obviously have an excellent understanding of the funded project environment and have been able to deploy this experience to the benefit of others. Their evaluation was robust, and included helpful recommendations of areas for improvement in future projects”
These evaluations are clearly a contractual requirement for many projects, but we take the view that optimising the benefits of a thorough evaluation provides learning experiences for all involved and guides future project direction. Evaluation is the key to understanding all aspects of what worked well, and less well (there’s always a couple of things!), in a project.
In undertaking an evaluation we compare the actual project outputs, outcomes and impact against the agreed strategic plans and answer the question “has this project achieved what it set out to do?”