Ben Reynolds PhD (Culture & Urban Regeneration) BSc (Hons) M.M.R.S.
Ben is the founder and Director of Urban Foundry and oversees all of our work. He has a Doctorate (Swansea University, 2004) in the creative regeneration of cities and 20 years of experience in regeneration. He is a member of the Market Research Society, and he has been both an executive and a non-executive director of a number of social businesses and charitable organisations. Ben also served as a Commissioner for the Welsh Government’s Cooperatives and Mutuals Commission.
Ben’s approach, central to our brand, is one that uses creative thinking combined with a strong theoretical understanding and entrepreneurial thinking to solve a range of problems, from small community initiatives to nationwide schemes and programmes. He knows how to make projects happen, how to make them last, and how to demonstrate that they make a difference. Over 20 years he has developed a detailed working knowledge of the public, social/purpose-driven business, and third sectors. He has also written on the cultural regeneration of city centres and contributed to published works on Community Work and developing Cooperatives and Mutuals.
Ben has a sharp understanding of public funding – he has supported a wide range of groups in raising several million pounds for various regeneration projects, from public and private sources. He has also served on various funding panels, including those distributing European Structural Funds, and he has supported public funding projects that have allocated tens of millions of pounds of public funding.
He has also led a range of feasibility studies, community engagement/consultation exercises, business and marketing planning for social businesses, and he has facilitated collaborative/partnership working for a wide range of clients in Wales, England, and Scotland, as well as designing and delivering a number of evaluation commissions for large and small scale projects. He is a social entrepreneur and has founded and developed successful social enterprises and a pioneer in establishing BCorps, with Urban Foundry only the third in Wales, and the first in our home town of Swansea.
Ben is an invited member on the Regeneration Swansea partnership and the Swansea Poverty Truth Commission, and contributed to the early stages of the south west Wales Circular Economy Club. He is also a Big Ideas Wales Role Model for Welsh Government, visiting schools, FE and HE institutions to talk about social entrepreneurialism.