Contact us on 01792 721 725 or ideas@urbanfoundry.co.uk

Home

We’re a creative regeneration agency forging great ideas to change the world for the better – improving people’s lives, making great places, building business with purpose.

We help people to make their good ideas happen, to make them last, and to demonstrate that they’re making a difference.

Nice things people have said

  • "When Jo Cox died, I initially questioned my capacity to ‘do’ anything in response. The increasing division, nastiness of rhetoric, and ‘them and us’ discursion on social media of 2016 felt like a negative, and paralysing development. As a West End Theatre Director, I wanted to make a statement of opposition to such developments. But it felt like a difficult mountain to climb. The idea I came up with, to stage Jo’s favourite musical in the heart of her home constituency Batley & Spen, using 120 young people from across the diverse communities of West Yorkshire, seemed at once perfect and overly-ambitious. We had 8 months to set up a charity, raise a six figure sum, build links within the community and build a pop-up theatre in a disused industrial space. I trusted myself artistically to deliver, but felt lost in the wider sense of building a new organisation. The key decision I made was in seeking a partnership with Urban Foundry, and in encouraging Dr Ben Reynolds to become a trustee of our fledgling organisation, cementing the links between our organisation and the work Ben had done to increase activity and a sense of community in Wales. Ben was a key actor in ensuring the company was built within the parameters of good governance and best practice, but more importantly always asked what I call the ‘impact’ question. At almost weekly meetings, the focus would switch according to the ever-shifting priorities – largely because we were trying to deliver a 2 year project in a third of the time to meet the anniversary of Jo’s death. We might suddenly be faced with deadlines for applications, and find our producer seeking help in moving forward. The next week, the overall accountancy structures of the new organisation needed cementing. The following meeting needed close focus on reaching elements of the community that might not normally access ‘the arts’. Various board members would provide solution. Dr. Reynolds was an expert at listening, asking the question ‘what is the impact’, and advising how such ideas could refine into something coherent. When the project was a success, when we received national media attention, and when 120 young people from some of the poorest communities in West Yorkshire stood together in a disused warehouse singing ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ – I had a palpable sense that the good practice and values of Urban Foundry had formed a foundation on which to build that dream. And one more thank you is due. Theatre inevitably happens ‘in the moment’. Of all our trustees, Ben Reynolds has challenged us to think about sustainability. That this summer, despite the impact on the arts by a global pandemic, the Batley & Spen Youth Theatre staged its fourth major project is in part down to Ben’s willingness to stay involved for the long term, and to always raise questions of development and sustainability. To ask the question, ‘What’s Next…?’"
    Nick Evans, Artistic Director
  • "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
  • ‘‘Urban Foundry have been and continue to be a pleasure to work with.  Their knowledge and expertise enabled the set-up of a monthly market in Port Talbot that they continue to run, proving sustainable even during this present climate. Good practice, a collaborative approach and continued commitment has been key during COVID providing consumer confidence, helping small businesses and promoting buy local."
    Jo Hillier-Raikes, Town Centre Manager for Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council
  • "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
  • “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
  • "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

Latest Tweets