Doncaster’s Economic Strategy and Action Plan

Economic growth, Innovation, Local Authority, Sectors, Strategy and policy development
In 2018, Doncaster set out its ambition for an economy that promoted inclusive growth in their Inclusive Growth Strategy 2018-21.  Ortus worked with the council during the process of developing its strategy to undertake a study of the major platforms for economic growth, examining key sectors and the foundational economy and identifying the contributions that could be made to inclusive growth objectives. In 2022, the council set about refreshing its strategy and integrating additional elements, namely the concept of a regenerative economy to complement the central theme of inclusivity.  Ortus was commissioned to lead a refresh of the platforms for growth study, again examining sectors of opportunity and economic niches and focusing on supporting innovation, working with Kada Research. The project also includes the development of a structured plan that…
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North of Tyne Business Survey 2023

Combined Authority, Economic growth, Research, analysis and evidence
Ortus and Qa Research were commissioned by the North of Tyne Combined Authority to deliver a business survey on behalf of its constituent local authorities. The survey explored business performance following the Covid-19 pandemic, actions being taken to reduce businesses’ carbon emissions and environmental impacts, and the take-up and need for business support services. We undertook a telephone survey of registered businesses, alongside an online survey which was targeted at unregistered businesses (freelancers, sole traders and partnerships) via the client partners’ and other local business networks. In total, 860 interviews were completed, allowing robust analysis at parliamentary constituency level to help large local authorities understand the businesses in their area. Findings were presented in a detailed final report, alongside a data pack with extensive data tables and statistical analysis.
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Evaluation of the Heritage Stimulus Fund

Evaluation and impact assessment, NDPB
Historic England commissioned Morris Hargreaves McIntyre (MHM) and Ortus to conduct a process and impact evaluation of the Heritage Stimulus Fund. The Fund was part of the £1.57 billion rescue package announced by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to safeguard cultural and heritage organisations across the UK from the economic impact of Covid-19. Historic England distributed over £90m to almost 1,000 heritage contruction repair projects over two rounds of the Fund. The process evaluation, led by MHM, aimed to ascertain whether the Fund successfully addressed the threat of suppressed demand caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, both through the impacts of the funding on the heritage sector and the suppliers that service it, and the way in which the intervention was operationalised, delivering appropriate grants to the…
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Universities’ entry requirements, graduate outcomes and diversity in the Mathematical Sciences

Equality and diversity, Research, analysis and evidence, University
The Council for the Mathematical Sciences (CMS) and the Heads of Department of Mathematical Sciences (HoDoMS) asked Ortus to undertake research to examine the landscape regarding recruitment to mathematical sciences first degree subjects across the UK and the outcomes achieved by graduates from these degrees. The research sought to examine pre-university entry attainment patterns (i.e. A-levels in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and Highers and Advanced Highers in Scotland) and to examine diversity from the perspectives of sex and socio-economic background in relation to graduate outcomes. The aim of the study was to help inform a better understanding of how such diversity relates to mathematical sciences graduates’ careers. The research involved analysis of secondary data from UCAS and the Higher Educations Statistics Agency to explore how mathematical sciences students' sex…
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Women in Maths benchmarking data

Equality and diversity, Research, analysis and evidence, University
The London Mathematical Society's Committee for Women and Diversity strongly supports advancing women's and other under-represented groups' careers in mathematical sciences in higher education. For several years, Ortus has provided regular data updates to the Society which allow Higher Education Institutions to benchmark themselves against national averages for the proportion of women studying maths, from first degree to PhD level; and the proportion of women working in university maths departments, from post-doc researchers to professors. Our latest update refreshes the data in 2017's benchmarking study of Athena SWAN programmes.
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Evidence base to support Gateshead’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund application

Economic growth, Local Authority, Strategy and policy development
Gateshead Council required support to develop their application for funding from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF). The application window was very tight and capacity within the relevant teams very constrained. As well as requiring additional capacity within their team, the council also required expertise related to building evidence-based narratives which explain the key economic and social challenges faced by Gateshead, and to which the UKSPF funding could be targeted. Ortus was approached and commissioned to play this role, working very closely with the Strategic Funding Programmes Manager and team to develop a cohesive application and supporting evidence base. Working under very challenging deadlines, the Ortus team delivered the required outputs to time and budget. Gateshead Council was successful in its application and has been awarded £11.6 million to deliver…
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ERDF Formative and Summative Evaluation of Creative Fuse North East

Evaluation and impact assessment, University
Ortus was commissioned by Newcastle University to deliver the formal ERDF evaluation of the Creative Fuse North East project.  The evaluation therefore responded to the needs of the project and its Advisory Board as well as the funder.  Delivery of the evaluation requires a range of quantitative and qualitative data gathering and analysis processes and techniques, drawing evidence from a wide range of stakeholders.  These include the central management team at Newcastle University, the Advisory Board, project delivery partners across four Universities, stakeholders across the creative and digital sectors in the North East and beyond, and project beneficiaries.  Within the latter category are a large number of generally small creative and digital practitioners, often working as sole practitioners or freelancers. The project reported the formative evaluation in October 2022 and…
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Tyne Employment Study

Combined Authority, Sectors, Strategy and policy development
To support the strategic work of the North of Tyne Combined Authority, Ortus was commissioned to undertake a detailed study of employment along the banks of the river Tyne and within three key sectors: Energy, Offshore and Marine. The study was conducted in March 2022 and was used to inform discussions with partners and government regarding the importance of both the sector and key employment sites located along the banks of the river that require continual access across to the River Tyne – and therefore rely on quayside infrastructure and being able to safely transport goods along the river. The analysis included an economic impact assessment for both employment and GVA following HM Treasury Green Book guidance.
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Midlands Engine export research

Economic growth, NDPB, Research, analysis and evidence, Sectors
Ortus and Qa Research have delivered the latest in a series of research studies of exporting activity across the Midlands Engine area. As well as levels of exporting and barriers preventing/enabling factors supporting exporting, the surveys also reviewed business support challenges and, in the most recent survey, examined the impacts of Brexit and Covid-19. The research also provides an assessment of the levels of actual and potential exporting required in each LEP to contribute to regional and national targets. The 2021 study delivered a survey of 1,725 businesses (employing 5 or more people) in the Midlands Engine region, including minimum quotas per Local Enterprise Partnership area in order to produce results which were robust at LEP level.
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Covid-19 recovery in the North East

Economic growth, Local Enterprise Partnership, Research, analysis and evidence
The Covid-19 pandemic caused the biggest economic shock of recent times. The ongoing and uncertain nature of the global emergency means that economic recovery will neither be straightforward nor achievable in the short-term. The North East LEP, as part of its role within the North East Covid-19 Economic Recovery Group, sought to bring in a team to support the development of timely, targeted evidence and analysis to support the recovery planning. Ortus, working in partnership with New Skills Consulting, was commissioned to provide regular intelligence reports to the Economic Recovery Group and the LEP Board. This involved ongoing analysis of a wide range key data sources, including standard economic and labour market datasets but also those related to the various support schemes established by government (e.g. CJRS and SEISS) and…
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