Contact us on 01792 655 264 or ideas@urbanfoundry.co.uk

Testimonials

  • "Because you have worked in the Third Sector I know that as well as your intellectual ability, you will apply your considerable practical experience to your consultancy work. That is why it has been a pleasure to work with you on community social and economic regeneration projects and the Compact Consultancy over the past year or so."
    Ali Bond, Swansea Council for Voluntary Services
  • "You provided invaluable assistance when the Council was pursuing its Cydcoed Grant application; it was of immense help to me personally and I was very pleased and relieved when we were successful in receiving a grant of £25,000. I have no doubt that the success of the bid was in no small part due to the work that you had put into the scheme."
    Aneurin John, Clerk to Pontarddulais Town Council
  • "Working in close collaboration with Urban Foundry we invited Ben Hamilton-Baillie to Swansea for a two day visit to assist us with our thinking on the redesign of our City Centre. The two days were highly informative and inspirational for all staff involved. This event has been a milestone in helping us to start to develop a more innovative and coherent approach to our urban planning."
    Phil Roberts, Director of Place, CIty and County of Swansea Council
  • "Really cool people, loads of families, it’s definitely the best place in Swansea at the moment."
    Victoria Lee
  • "The service was very professional, but at the same time felt personal and friendly. The resultant report was well thought out and written with clarity. Your work has certainly helped us see with new eyes and start to take large steps forward toward where we wish to be. Your approach was very good at bringing people of differing opinions together. Any difficult situations were tackled with tact and good humour. It has been my pleasure to have now worked with you in a number of different situations and I have no hesitation in recommending your services to others.”
    Jenny Edwards, Manager, The Environment Centre, Swansea
  • “[You were] an excellent communicator, empathising with the difficulties faced by community groups whilst working with them to find solutions.  Your judgements were invariably sound and very well thought through - you instinctively knew how to work with, not for community groups - and your cheerful and positive approach to work is a delight!  Feedback from groups was nothing but positive.  All deadlines were met to a high standard and as well as being skilled at higher-level complex development work, you understand that the finer project detail is important too. We have greatly enjoyed working with you and have no hesitation at all in recommending you to others.”
    Barbara Anglezarke, Forestry Commission Wales Cydcoed Manager
  • “Your strong organisational skills and attention to detail with the ability to problem solve and think creatively are not a usual combination. You are very easy to work with and you always deliver to a high quality.”
    Jeremy Wyatt, Managing Director of Hall Aitken
  • "[Urban Foundry] were commissioned by Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council through a tender process to conduct an audit of existing arts provision across the County Borough of Neath Port Talbot , to generate knowledge in terms of expectations of arts delivery and possible gaps in provision and to develop content for a website and advise on its format in order to improve knowledge of what is already happening in the arts across the county. Through the establishment of twelve focus groups across the County Borough you were able to formulate a detailed response which was clearly articulated in a timely report, linked with effective strategies to adopt to address gaps/issues identified. The report has been invaluable in focusing our business development plans and also in prioritising spend. I would have no hesitation in recommending you."
    Angie Dickinson, Area Artistic Manager - Cultural Services, Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council
  • "One of the most excruciating things about setting up a new social enterprise is deciphering exactly what it is you want, and why. Having someone to unravel the many ideas and help me reach what should have been an obvious conclusion has been a crucial turning point for my business and my career. With your advice, knowledge and support, I now have confidence to take some risks and reach my highest of goals, using the skills, experience and facilities I already have."
    Amanda Tomlinson, Groundswell Dance Company
  • "On behalf of Jazz Heritage Wales thank you for all the work you put in updating the format for the Before Freedom Primary Schools pack. The updates are of course more accessible as they are on the modern format, and bilingual. In addition, I must congratulate you on the presentation, as the way you have laid it out has really helped to make the content clearer to the reader. Your work will allow this important story of the Slave who arrived in Wales in the 1830s to be shown to much wider audiences through the People’s Collection Wales, and the HWB teachers resource. The timeline was also a tricky piece of work, helping us to work out what was needed, and how best to present it, and it has already been well received. It has been printed out now, for the book to hand round, and looks very good in this format, as well as the slideshow. Again, it seems to really tell the story very clearly, and with both pieces of work, you have delivered them on time, and with the maximum efficiency."
    Deb Checkland, Chair - Jazz Heritage Wales
  • "[You were] … very professional in your work, highly intelligent and both efficient and effective in the way you perform your duties. You have demonstrated excellent communication skills and worked well with individuals and organisations alike. The presentation of your work is exemplary and I would have no hesitation in recommending your services to any group or organisation at any level."
    Gareth Evans, SRP project coordinator
  • "Working with you has stimulated fresh ideas across departments in Natural Resources Wales. The project, which was completed as part of our trial into natural resource management has provided us with a set of principles to help NRW sustainably manage our natural assets in the urban environment for people, the environment and the economy. Working with you has allowed our staff at local level to create connections with other organisations in your network for future collaboration. Your staff were very communicative throughout the project and have a creative outlook, which has encouraged local staff in NRW to be more flexible and innovative in our approach, seeing opportunities not barriers. The local knowledge not only of the surrounding environment but, also the many organisations who worked within the project area was invaluable. A professional high quality report was delivered to schedule, which is appropriate for us to use in our discussions with a range of stakeholders from community members to local Councillors and Assembly Members. A pleasure to work with."
    Fran Rolfe, Environment Officer - Natural Resources Management Team - Swansea, Natural Resources Wales
  • "I approached Urban Foundry to coordinate and construct a bid for a significant amount of Arts Council Wales and Welsh Government funding as the University has used the company before. Ben worked with multiple colleagues within the University and from across the South Wales region to draft a well-constructed and coherent bid document that clearly reflected the collaborative nature of its development. You have a quiet, confident and professional approach; you maintain excellent communication with key individuals at all times and were able to negotiate appropriate solutions to issues that arose in the bid development. I would be very happy to recommend Urban Foundry to support similar activities, collaborative ventures and project design. I found you to be committed to our success and reliable throughout the bid process and in the follow up period after we were successful in the award."

    Dr Jane Waters, University of Wales Trinity Saint David
  • "Working with you has been a great experience in helping us really think about how the people living in our communities interact and connect with place, space and each other. You have challenged us to understand the huge potential in our communities for creating great places to live and thrive."
    Andrew Vye, Director of Tai Gwalia
  • “Our Reach the Heights funded Olion project used art based activity to engage young people to work with young people who were not in education, employment or training. Measuring the impact of the project was important to us to both satisfy the funding requirements but, more importantly, to share the stories and journeys of the young people who took part. Your extensive experience in this area provided us with credible evaluation that tracked and reported on the project in a sensitive and meaningful way. The project was a huge success and the evaluation celebrated this by providing impressive statistics and personal stories from the participants”.
    Dr Richard Knapp, Head of Corporate Services, University of Wales Trinity Saint David
  • “It’s been a revelation working with a small consultancy firm on the evaluation of Renew Wales.”
    Robert Proctor, Project Director for Renew Wales
  • "The Uplands Market has been a massive boost to trade and to the Uplands in general. Market days are lively and vibrant, there is always a really good atmosphere and the huge increase in footfall is good for everyone. After several years the Market continues to make a positive impact and long may it continue!"
    Alex Clatworthy, Chattery Restaurant, Uplands
  • "Swansea Environmental Forum was at a key stage in its development, facing some challenging decisions about its future role and priorites. The Forum members enthusiastically engaged with your study and were most impressed with the specialist facilitation skills and consensus building that led to a very productive Action Plan. We would be eager to use you in future for similar strategic review work."
    Deb Hill, Swansea Environmental Forum
  • "You acted as our consultant on the 'Small Grants Scheme' we ran last year. You gave prompt, professional advice throughout the process helping establish a very successful project. We would definitely use your services again."
    Nikki Neale, Gorseinon College
  • "You were able to offer us support and training that practically we have been able to use in our own organisation because we were able to discuss at the outset a bespoke package of support. Too many providers these days provide standard courses off the shelf and have no real interest in the organisations that purchase them which we definitely can't say about you."
    Jackie Preston, Director, Swansea Citizens Advice Bureau
  • "You were perhaps the first to spot the potential of the Prize and I am certain that the Prize would not have taken off had it not been for your initial lead; the Prize became a reality and 2006 saw things come to a triumphant conclusion. In all of this you were indispensable. Your advice was always sage and you skillfully handled relations with a host of local bodies, not least the local authority. To an unusual degree you combine administrative sagacity with artistic flair and enthusiasm. In other words you are a truly creative administrator and one with a sharp understanding of how local authorities and other public bodies operate."
    Professor Peter Stead, Dylan Thomas Prize
  • "You are really organised and build strong relationships with the organisations you work with. Our clients rate you highly and we've had rave reviews recently from a community engagement assignment you led. We've asked you to deliver against outcomes for us on a number of projects and you've consistently delivered high quality work on time and in budget. Our clients report that you are a pleasure to work with and we are more than happy to recommend you."
    David Gourlay & Paul Buchanan, Directors, Hall Aitken Ltd
  • “The structure of the feasibility study was made clear from the offset, methods of work were thorough and the tight timescale adhered to throughout the process. The final report and business plan was presented in a professional structured format in the agreed time.  It is obvious that they are experts in their area of work, their expertise and excellent communication skills have enabled them to produce a study and business plan of very high standard which will be used in supporting grant applications for the community over the coming years. St Ishmaels Community Council have no hesitation in recommending you; you were a pleasure to work with."
    Iris Williams, Clerk, St Ishmaels Community Council
  • “The Walsall myplace proposal benefitted considerably from the help and support of the team. The capital plan, the work with young people and the partnership aspects were stronger and more sustainable, and the partners were pleased with the outcomes of the various workshops led by the myplace support team.”  
    Ian Cruise Taylor, myplace programme officer for Walsall Council
  • "The 'Cwtch the Bid' campaign was an inspiring effort that spread beyond a city and a region; it was an effort that galvanised the support and imaginations of people all across the country."
    David Jones MP, Secretary of State for Wales at that time
  • "I am sure that without your help with what can only be described as a "minefield" of application forms and correspondence, we would not have been successful in our bid for Cydcoed grant funding. Many thanks for all your assistance and support."
    Ceri Anderson, Town Clerk to Porthcawl Town Council
  • "The process was not an easy one, but with your support we generated a positive dialogue with the building’s owners and other key people in the local area, established the condition and viability of developing the building, and developed a creative and dynamic vision, supported by a strong business case. It was not an easy process but we achieved our goal and we are delighted that we will be able to invest in this important initiative that will deliver benefits for the University and its students, as well as for the general public living in Swansea and the wider region. I am happy to recommend you to others seeking creative consultants that can help to make complex but exciting regeneration projects like these happen."
    David Warner, Senior Provost, Swansea Metropolitan University
  • "Trilein undertook a Mid Term Evaluation of the Collaborative Communities project in December 2011 which was a particularly complex piece of work that involved working with the 8 partners of the project and community groups that the project has supported. The work undertaken was very professional and the communication between the company and myself and partners was excellent throughout the working relationship. I would recommend Trilein to any other organisation wishing to undertake similar evaluation studies because of their experience; the quality of their work and their ability to understand the requirements."
    Jane Lewis, Project Manager, Collaborative Communities
  • “CIME (Creativity & Innovation in Micro Enterprise) is an INTERREG funded initiative with the overall aim of embedding Creative & Innovative thinking into all areas of business. Partners include SERA (South East Regional Authority), and Kilkenny Enterprise Board, Ireland and in Wales Swansea Metropolitan University and University of Wales Trinity St David. You were selected to carry out an independent evaluation of the impact of a 4 Tier Programme and a series of Networking events that were delivered in Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire & Ceredigion. CIME worked with over 200 businesses and organisations in a variety of sectors. You were a pleasure to work with. Your approach was extremely professional and your methodologies were robust and adaptable. You very quickly understood the ethos of the whole project and I would have no hesitation in recommending you!”
    Jenny Vobe-Tancock, CIME Operations Manager, University of Wales Trinity Saint David
  • "Through your commission by Healthy Directions to provide tailored business support undertaking a business audit and exploring the project's exit strategy, we found you to be very professional in your approach and extremely supportive in your manner. The work undertaken met all the required timescales and fulfilled the purpose of the brief; it was concise and written in a style that was appropriate for a wide range of stakeholders.  Its content was honest and practical, making recommendations that the project was able to act upon. Healthy Directions valued the work undertaken by you and would have no hesitation in recommending your services to others"
    Amanda Owen & Karen Hicks, Healthy Directions - Healthy Living Centre
  • "Urban Foundry worked with us on a whole Farm visioning event and delivered training on outcomes monitoring. The work is thorough, professional and grounded in a clear understanding of the needs of third sector organisations and the environment in which we operate. We’re planning to use them again!"
    Phil Budd, Director, Swansea Community Farm
  • "Urban Foundry undertook an Impact Assessment of our award winning Chepstow High Street Regeneration Scheme in 2010. Due to unavoidable delays, the tendering process took place in late summer with limited timing to complete visitor surveys. You quickly identified the necessary resources to complete the study within a tight timescale to a high standard. Many Thanks."
    Colin Phillips, Special Projects Manager, Monmouthshire County Council
  • "I've known lead consultant Dr Ben Reynolds for several years and worked with him on a number of issues. In particular, most assiduously, he gave of his own time as part of a group to advise me on the rewriting of Community Work (4th Edition) to be published by McMillan Hargreaves in 2007. I've found Ben's comments extremely insightful and helpful and was most impressed by the quality of his work."
    Alan Twelvetrees, Author of 'Community Work'
  • "The mapping exercise was a particularly difficult thing to sell let alone take on and produce results for.  For that all the members of the group will be eternally grateful.  The presentation of the results was innovative, clear and immediately re-useable to further our thinking.  You produced material to order, on time and extremely professionally.  You have an immediate and overall understanding of the issues but also a keen and supportive interest in the arts. Your work in bringing the three consultations together and as a team member in pulling the whole strategy together as a piece was also extremely valuable and helpful.  When we presented the strategy to the Arts Council at the specific feedback conference with other authorities who had undertaken the same exercise, it was abundantly clear that the Swansea approach was light years ahead of the rest.  In particular, we had delivered what we said we would and the material - easily accessible and actually fun to have - was what was actually need to forge strategic ideas for the future for young people and the arts in Swansea. Your contribution to that achievement was vital. Thank you again on behalf of the City and County of Swansea Youth Arts Strategy core working group."
    Robin Hall, Swansea Youth Arts Partnership
  • "Having spotted your insight and creative approach during your input to the Swansea Arts Strategy process, I had no hesitation in engaging you to formulate the business plan required for the second-stage application to the DT100 fund. The collaboration demonstrated your thoroughness, efficiency and quick grasp of strategic issues. Consequently, the resulting document will serve not only as an application but also as a useful roadmap for the Festival's next stage of development. I should recommend you warmly to any arts organisation seeking an objective, analytical approach to future business and artistic planning."
    Huw Tregelles Williams, OBE, DL, FRCO, FRWCMD, Chairman/Director, Swansea Festival of Music & the Arts, formerly Head of Music, BBC Wales
  • "I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending you to anyone who is looking to review their community engagement activity.  You were a joy to work with: incredibly professional, tactful and diligent throughout. You just got on with it and delivered on time and to budget.  Most importantly, your clear ability in this area gained the confidence of my colleagues in the whole consultation process. I will certainly use you again."
    Richard Jarman, Head of Government & Community Relations, Public Affairs Directorate, University of Oxford
  • "You were inspirational in the role of 'Chair’, giving an informative and insightful overview of the importance of the arts in the creative regeneration of our towns, and how this could apply here in Haverfordwest."
    Chris Evans, Director - Idea Architects
  • "Oriel Science's pop-up exhibition gallery was constructed in 6 days in a commercial premises in Swansea’s city centre. Swansea University employed Urban Foundry to be our venue’s site manager and you superbly oversaw this complex and time-critical project. We launched on time with everything in place and the visitor numbers to the gallery are a testimony to the project’s success, which relied heavily on your experience, knowledge and organisational skills."
    Professor Chris Allton, Swansea University