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Steer Davies Gleave launches new economic development practice

17 February 2017

Steer Davies Gleave has launched a new economic development practice called ‘SDG Economic Development’ led by former SQW Managing Director, Simon Pringle. This new venture has been established to build on Steer Davies Gleave’s existing strength in transport, and enhance their service offer to adjacent policy areas such as enterprise, knowledge, skills and governance. 

The emphasis of the new practice is on integrated economic development, ensuring that all components of economic success and resilience are examined as part of a wider system. Based out of offices in Manchester, Leeds and London, the team help clients to improve the competitiveness and potential of their places, sectors and markets. Key specialisms in their work include the roles of science and technology, knowledge and skills, and enterprise and competitiveness in improving economic performance.

Work for clients has already begun, and include projects for East Midlands Councils, looking at the scope for establishing a new science and innovation hub at Toton in Nottinghamshire; helping the National Infrastructure Commission identify performance measures for use in the National Infrastructure Assessment; and delivering a high-profile masterclass on the role of indicators and data in programme monitoring and evaluation on behalf of the European Commission’s Interact agency. SDG Economic Development’s work also includes an assignment for Westminster City Council helping to secure funding for improvements to Oxford Street in London. This particular project combines Steer Davies Gleave’s core transport appraisal capability with an assessment of economic impacts on retail, employment and Gross Value Added. 

Steer Davies Gleave’s CEO, Hugh Jones said of the new practice launch: “This is a natural evolution for Steer Davies Gleave. The SDG Economic Development offer broadens our expertise and client base beyond our current transport focus, and enhances our existing strengths in appraisal and evaluation, strategy and action planning, and capacity and capability development in enabling wider economic growth. We are delighted to see the practice developing so quickly and are already seeing clients excited by our work.” 


Simon Pringle, Director  
Simon is a highly-experienced economic development specialist whose long career has spanned central government and consulting. He brings a wide range of technical, analytical and process skills to economic development work, which position him well to assess the economic performance and future potential of sectors, markets and places, and to develop solutions for delivering increased competitiveness and economic growth. He has worked extensively across the UK and in Central and Eastern Europe, with much of his work focused on strategy development and innovative action planning. He recently led the Independent Economic Review of the UK’s Northern Powerhouse, and has just been appointed by Liverpool Partners to write the City Region’s Science and Innovation Audit.

Scott Dickinson, Associate
Scott is an economist by training and brings over 25 years’ experience of designing, appraising, delivering and evaluating public policies, strategies and interventions. He has a long-standing interest in developing the understanding of the dynamics of places, sectors and markets, and their interactions with each other. As well as writing national Value-for-Money studies on neighbourhood renewal and sustainable communities for the Audit Commission, Scott co-authored IPPR’s recent ‘BREXIT North’ paper, which sets out BREXIT-related risks and opportunities for the North of England.

Dr Mark Matthews, Associate                          
Mark is a specialist on the role of science and innovation in economic development and has built a career that spans academia and consulting. This has included executive responsibilities in facilitating international cooperation in these fields and establishing a new public policy think tank. He has worked on a wide range of strategy assignments (including government White Papers) and on evaluations and reviews in science, innovation and industrial competitiveness. Mark is particularly interested in strategies and tactics that help clients improve their innovation processes. He is also keen on developing better ways of communicating and demonstrating the important ‘public good’ outcomes generated by higher education research.

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Region: UK & Ireland
Category: Press releases


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