South Downs National Park

Work areas: activity planning

'In the High Woods' is a Heritage Lottery Funded project to investigate the wooded downs of western Sussex via Lidar. The area is rich in hidden archaeological remains. The project will fund an aerial Lidar survey that can look through the tree coverage to see what structures remain. We worked with South Downs National Park Authority to create an activity plan for the project, ensuring that the findings are shared widely and that students, school children, visitors and local people have opportunities to find out about the prehistory of the area.


The Sill, Northumberland National Park

Work areas: interpretation planning

Working with creative design company Bright3D, we developed an interpretation plan for the Sill, a landmark visitor centre for Northumberland National Park and the surrounding area. The Sill is a 11.2 million initiative of international importance that will create a new National Landscape Discovery Centre in Northumberland.


Spinney Hill Park, Leicester

Work areas: audience development, consultation, intepretation

We worked with Leicester City Council on this historic neighbourhood park situated in an area of high deprivation just outside the city centre. DBA Consulting were initially engaged to write an audience development plan to support a Parks for People HLF bid. We also prepared an interpretation and learning strategy for the park and a business plan for the park café.


The audience development work involved extensive community consultation, working closely with the Friends of Spinney Hill Park and the Parks Officers to identify users and non-users and to explore community needs. A detailed community audit explored the area around the park at a micro-level, identifying areas and demographic segments which were under-represented in the visitor profile. This provided a clear starting point from which to plan future audience development activity. We also helped to develop the Friends Group and ensure they had the necessary skills to have a meaningful role in the project.


The project was granted its funding (£2.5 million from the Parks for People fund) and we worked with the council to develop the interpretation content.


Heaton Park, Manchester

Work areas: business planning, strategic planning

Heaton Park is the largest area of open space in the City of Manchester. We prepared a business plan for a Heritage Lottery Fund Stage II application to secure funding for the park in 2000.


Following on from this work, in 2010 we prepared a business development plan for the future operation of the park. We worked with the council to consider how best to maximise commercial opportunities at Heaton Park while maintaining a high level of service for users and the local community. This work was undertaken in partnership with L&R Consulting.


Lloyd and Aveling Park, Walthamstow

Work areas: business planning, options appraisal, financial forecasts

Lloyd and Aveling is an urban park with close associations to William Morris, whose childhood home is located within the park.

Plans to redevelop the park with £3.6 million of Lottery funding included a new hub building at the centre of the park. DBA Consulting were engaged to write a business plan for the hub building, including an options appraisal for its use, market context, financial forecasts for the preferred option, and consideration of risks.


The funding bid was successful and the park reopened in 2012 following major development works.


Rougemont and Northernhay Gardens, Exeter

Work areas: audience development, audience research, options appraisal

This historic park in the centre of Exeter incorporates a Roman Wall and bank, as well as the 18th century Rougemont House. Acting as lead consultant for a Parks for People application we undertook an options appraisal and audience development plan, including the visitor research programme.


Using an options appraisal process based on HM Treasury's Green Book methodology, we worked with Exeter City Council to describe and quantify the decision making process. The audience development plan for the gardens was based on substantial primary research into current users and local communities. DBA Consulting undertook a visitor survey in the park. Supported by observational visitor flow work and community consultation, this helped to identify user groups, visitor needs and usage patterns. Key actions to develop these user segments were then outlined in the audience development plan.