Recent consultancy commissions


Below is a selection of LWM’s recent activities undertaken on a consultancy basis. To find out about our other activities, e.g. charitably funded projects, see our activities page.

Mapping the impacts of flooding and flood risk on community economic resilience in Calderdale (2014-15)

A study for Calderdale Council to provide greater understanding of the scale, reach and complexity of the economic impacts of flooding and flood risk in the Upper Calder Valley and how this relates to community economic resilience. This mapped impacts of the major floods that hit the Calder Valley in June and July 2012, firstly on a ‘first tier’ of flood-affected businesses and then the impacts on their suppliers, customers and employees in the area, to give a sense of the collective ‘multiplied’ economic impact of flooding and flood risk.

Evaluation of the effectiveness of green energy equipment (2013-14)

LWM is carrying out an evaluation of the effectiveness of solar panels and other green energy equipment on behalf of Birmingham City Council.

Community planning (2012)

In January to March 2012 LWM worked with the Selly Oak Community Project to help them develop a neighbourhood plan that encompassed wider than land use planning issues. It identified potential solutions on conflicting housing needs, local shopping centre performance and maximising local economic benefits, and outlined possible next steps for the forum. As part of this work we brokered positive relationships between the community project and the two priority local stakeholders – the City Council and the University – as a basis for their working together in the future.

In March to April 2012 LWM also helped the Start2Finish project in Stockland Green to develop and set up a local housing, training and employment initiative designed to enable people to stay in the area rather than moving away. This included a development plan comprising options matrix and assessment of knowledge, skills and funding context, as well as training materials on legal structures, access to finance and forming partnerships.

Community Asset Transfer (2010-11)

LWM was commissioned by Castle Vale Neighbourhood Partnership in
2010-11 to undertake a feasibility study of the possible transfer of Castle Swimming Pool and Fitness Suite, and Vale Sports Stadium and football pitches, and the Farnborough Road wildlife conservation area into some form of community ownership. The study examined the business case for such transfer; it highlighted the risk factors, provided good practice case studies and made recommendations for progressing the transfer effectively. Following the feasibility study we were asked to work with the steering group to assist them with selecting suitable partners.

Community empowerment evaluations (2009-12)

LWM has carried out three in-depth reviews during 2009-12 of Friends of the Earth’s environmental justice and empowerment activities, which empower grassroots groups and individuals experiencing environmental injustice to use the law and planning regulations to influence what happens in their communities. The first of these reviewed FOE’s transformational training course, Power Up, and helped secure the course’s future. Subsequent reviews of a Major Infrastructure Project empowerment activity in Merthyr Tydfil and of the London empowerment project have also helped shape the team’s activity.

Birmingham Energy Savers (Birmingham’s Green New Deal) (2009/10)

LWM and Encraft introduced an idea for an innovative retrofitting programme based on the Feed-in Tariff, and were commissioned to develop a business plan for Birmingham City Council. This is now being delivered as Birmingham Energy Savers and attracting nationwide interest. The project delivers a package of energy efficiency and renewables measures to householders and businesses, and harnesses the Feed-in Tariff to extend the scheme so that all income levels can benefit. The structure was also designed to maximise local procurement of the retrofitting while making use of bulk buying power for the materials.

Supermarket Impact Assessment (2009)

LWM was commissioned by Shirley’s Town Centre Partnership to undertake an independent impact assessment of the likely impacts of a supermarket and mixed use proposal on the local economy to help ensure that local traders and community were well informed to engage with the planning process.

Sustainable Procurement (2008)

LWM was commissioned to identify an action plan and to produce and negotiate a sustainable procurement compact for Be Birmingham partners: a detailed set of commitments to procuring in a way that delivers social, environmental and economic benefits. Following a process that involved more Be Birmingham partners than ever before, the compact was signed by almost all of them, and progress on its commitments has been supported by Be Birmingham staff.

Community Banking in Sandwell (2008)

LWM undertook an evaluation of the Sandwell Advice and Money Link project on behalf of the Greets Green New Deal for Communities. This was a joint community banking project consisting of a credit union and a community development financial institution (CDFI). LWM identified strengths and weaknesses and recommended a number of changes to the structure and operation of the project, which were then implemented.