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 (Department of Geography, University of Wales Swansea, 2004) in the creative regeneration of cities and 20 years of experience of business and project development. He is a member of the Market Research Society, a Trustee of Swansea Council for Voluntary Services, and he has been both an executive and a non-executive director of a number of social enterprises. Ben also served as a Commissioner for the Welsh Government’s Cooperatives and Mutuals Commission.
Ben’s extensive experience of delivering projects matched with his academic and research background was what the business was founded on – he knows how to make projects happen, how to make them last, and how to demonstrate that they make a difference and since forming the company in 2004 he’s added people to the team who can do the same.
Ben’s approach, central to our brand, is one that uses creative thinking combined with a strong theoretical understanding to solve a range of problems, from small community initiatives to nationwide schemes and programmes. Over 20 years he has developed a detailed working knowledge of the third and public sectors in Wales, including cooperatives and social enterprises. That is coupled with his strong theoretical and research underpinning from his PhD study into the creative regeneration of cities. Ben has also written on the cultural regeneration of city centres, which has been published in the Environment and Planning journal and he has contributed to published works on Community Work and developing Cooperatives and Mutuals.
Ben also 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.
Ben has also led a range of feasibility studies, community engagement/consultation exercises, business and marketing planning for social enterprises, and he has facilitated collaborative/partnership working for a wide range of clients in Wales and England, 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 a number of social enterprises.