Our work

Please find below a selection of case studies showcasing some of our recent work.

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Strategy

Buckinghamshire – Supporting the County’s Growth

We worked with Buckinghamshire Council and its old Local Enterprise Partnership, the Thames Valley LEP, on a number of projects in recent years. We have been tasked with developing strategic plans around some of their priority sectors and key sites, helping them to promote them to a range of public and private sector audiences, and helping the county’s new Growth Board find its feet. We have also worked separately with one of Buckinghamshire’s foremost employers:  Pinewood Studios. Across a range of different projects we have delivered:
  • Specific advice on the development of Buckinghamshire’s four key growth sectors.
  • A specific package of support on developing the Westcott Venture Park and its potential for use as a centre for Low Cost Access to Space (LOCAS).
  • A mass outreach programme to leading film, TV and creative industries figures relating to the possible extension of Pinewood Studios.
  • Targeted engagement with ministers and backbench MPs around key strategic opportunities.
  • Sessions on behalf of Buckinghamshire’s Growth Board.

Outcomes Delivered

With Henham’s support, Buckinghamshire’s growth sectors (including the creative industries, space and advanced automotive) have continued to thrive. We took the Westcott Venture site to new political and industry audiences and we helped the Council launch its new Growth Board. Separate to our work with the Council and the LEP, we helped secure planning consent for the extension of Pinewood Studios and supported them with their central Government engagement.

NP11 – Supporting development of a Northern Pan Regional Partnership

We were commissioned by the NP11 – the representative body of the North’s Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) – to consider and evidence the strengths and weaknesses of potential governance options for a new Northern Pan-Regional Partnership (PRP). This politically sensitive project required the team to utilise our unparalleled experience working with other PRPs across the country and links into DLUHC’s Cities and Local Growth Unit to independently build consensus around a preferred governance option with the North’s academic, business, civic and political stakeholders. Successfully building consensus, we delivered the following:
  • An initial assessment of the governance options that could be implemented to successfully meet key DLUHC principles, including growing the North’s global footprint.
  • A robust stakeholder engagement exercise with a select group of the North’s academic, business, civic and political stakeholders, collating views on governance options strengths and weaknesses. Initial engagement was delivered through one-to-one interviews.
  • Proactive engagement with key government departments – including DLUHC, DESNZ, DBT and DfT – to collate the government’s view on where pan-regional policy development across the North could add value.
  • Workshops with a broader set of Northern stakeholders – including Mayors’ Chiefs of Staff – presenting back a preferred Northern PRP governance option focused on growing the region’s global footprint.
  • A final project report that presented all governance options considered and the robust evidence base collated to justify the preferred governance option focusing on growing the North’s global footprint. This final project report provided a view on the potential functions the Northern PRP could deliver.

Outcomes Delivered

The independent and politically sensitive engagement we progressed – alongside application of our expert understanding of the PRP policy landscape – resulted in the development of a preferred governance option that had the backing of the North’s key decision makers. Our support positioned the NP11 to make progress in agreeing a new Northern PRP with relevant central government officials and Ministers.

County Councils Network – Supporting the Case for Stronger Counties

We have been Strategic Partners of the CCN since 2020, working alongside them to make the most persuasive case possible to Government in favour of deeper devolution to county areas.  As a Strategic Partner to the CCN, we have supported them with a number of projects, including:
  • Writing the policy report, Making Counties Count, which argued that greater devolutionary powers for counties would drive more economic growth and strengthen local areas.
  • Undertaking a data analysis of the pivotal role that county areas will play electorally in the 2024 General Election.
  • Conducting an internal advocacy audit to help develop CCN’s business planning processes.
  • Advising on legislative strategy and bill amendments, particularly in relation to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Act.
  • Providing senior counsel and advice to CCN Leaders and Chief Executives on devolution, local economy, and other strategic policy matters.
  • Supporting CCN to develop an impactful engagement strategy with Ministers, MPs, advisers and Whitehall officials.

Outcomes Delivered

We have helped the CCN grow its profile, contribute to the shift in policy direction towards greater devolution for counties, and deliver a valuable service for its members. ‘Making Counties Count’ was quoted word-for-word in the former Prime Minister’s speech on ‘County Deals’ in July 2021, and since then, numerous ‘deals’ for county areas have been successfully secured.

North Essex Economic Board (NEEB) – Delivering North Essex’s Economic Strategy

We were commissioned by the North Essex Economic Board (NEEB) to develop a new Economic Strategy and Delivery Plan for this economic partnership. The NEEB – at the time of this project – was made up of seven local authorities – Braintree, Chelmsford, Colchester, Maldon, Tendring, Uttlesford and Essex County Council – and acts as a catalyst to drive economic growth across North Essex. Since the project, the NEEB has now expanded to include Epping and Harlow.
  • An analytical deep dive into North Essex’s strengths and challenges – culminating in a robust North Essex economic baseline.
  • Identifying four key economic priorities for the NEEB’s constituent members to coalesce around.
  • Facilitating workshops with North Essex Councillors, local businesses, Higher Education institutions, and voluntary organisations to broaden the qualitative evidence underpinning the economic baseline developed.
  • Drafting a clear, concise and innovative Economic Strategy and Delivery Plan that outlined the actions the NEEB could lead on to drive economic growth.

Outcomes Delivered

Our collaborative engagement approach with the NEEB’s constituent members and analytical expertise resulted in the development of a bespoke and tailored Economic Strategy and Delivery Plan. It brought together North Essex’s diverse characteristics into a clear and concise plan of action for the NEEB to implement to stimulate economic growth across the region. The project was delivered to time and unanimously agreed by all constituent members.