Strategy development and action planning that delivers lasting change and beneficial impact for places, sectors and communities is a core part of SQW's offer. We work regularly on inclusive strategy development processes with cities, city-regions (including the Mayoral Combined Authorities), towns, and rural areas, and bring wide experience in framing strategy efforts in functional economic areas that cross traditional administrative boundaries.

We support partners to define strategic narratives that are clearly evidence-based and framed by the unique character and attributes of their place or sector. The resulting strategies and action plans must strike the right balance between ambition and deliverability, informed by an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the complex drivers of economic growth, the opportunities (and threats) posed by Net Zero, digitisation, hybrid working and key policy imperatives such as the 12 Levelling Up Missions.

In all our strategy work, we place a very strong emphasis on extracting insight and intelligence from data, ensuring that analyses not only characterise positions, but help to explain why these are as they are. This is vital so that strategy and action planning efforts are directed at those things that can be directly changed and influenced, so as to maximise impact. However, we also recognise the limitations of data and the importance of facilitating meaningful stakeholder engagement processes that genuinely enthuse and secure lasting commitment from delivery partners, as well as generating new ideas that add value to existing strategic economic thinking.

Collaborative working with the public, private, community, voluntary and social enterprise sectors is a hallmark of our approach. We know that to achieve plans that make a difference, it is vital to secure buy-in and support from a wide range of stakeholders. At its best, getting the process elements right delivers long-term commitment, ensuring the choices made are understood, owned, and embraced by all partners.

Project Examples