economic consultants

" Demonstrating past effectiveness is the key to securing future funding."


There is an increasing need to demonstrate the positive economic and social impacts of public sector activities and those of individual companies. There is a requirement for robust, evidence-based research to support new or continued investment by the public sector, or to show the important contribution made by individual companies or specific sectors of the economy. The main services provided by Reference support these requirements.

Assessing the economic impacts of proposed or actual public sector investments is one of our major areas of work. Our assessments use a range of sources. These can include business plans, interviews with project officers and funding applicants, surveys of beneficiaries and other stakeholders, and secondary data and reports.

The measures used to assess economic impacts include employment, income and GVA. We have extensive experience of calculating impacts at the local, regional and national levels, including the appropriate use of multipliers. A key element of the work is the assessment of net additional economic impacts: that is, the impacts attributable to the public sector intervention.

In addition, we also undertake research assessing the economic impact of:

  • Major employers-including private companies, military establishments, airports and HEIs.

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      • Sectors-such as aerospace and sea transport.

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          • Changes in transport provision-such as changes to fares and frequency, the introduction of new services and provision of new infrastructure

Area-based analysis can form part of a wider assessment of the need for public sector support for regeneration. It can also be used to place the findings of economic impact assessments in their wider context.

Our work in this field has involved analysis of local and regional economies using a range of measures. Typically these include population, employment and business structure, income and GVA, economic activity and unemployment. We have extensive experience in using data from official economic datasets. We understand both their strengths and their limitations - particularly for data below the national level.

Robust evaluations are needed to assess whether particular interventions should continue and, if so, any changes that are required. Clients are also increasingly seeking a review of process issues and external factors, as well as sound assessments of economic impact.

Our evaluations draw on a range of sources including project records, interviews with project officers and stakeholders and surveys of beneficiaries. Our aim is to demonstrate not only what has been achieved to date but why this is the case. Our conclusions are expressed clearly and concisely, accompanied by forward-looking recommendations.