Our team

The Ortus Directors are highly knowledgeable economic development and research professionals with over seventy years of combined experience in the field.


Andrew Graves

Andrew is a highly experienced consultant and project director, having worked in the field for 24 years. Over this time he has developed a wealth of knowledge and practical experience in the development of robust, reliable evidence and its application in developing projects, programmes and implementing policy. He brings a strong track record having played a key role in many of Ortus’s economic and culture research projects and experience of heritage-led economic development projects.

Andrew was previously Managing Director at Trends Business Research Ltd (TBR). During his career at TBR he has progressed from researcher through project manager to the overall leadership of the company and research team. His skills include the collection and interpretation of both quantitative and qualitative data for understanding the current and potential impact of sectors or infrastructure.  His work in the creative and cultural sectors has been extensive.

Throughout his career, Andrew has also worked closely with key economic datasets, including longitudinal business data. His knowledge and experience in finding applications for the services that are derived from quantitative secondary data is extensive. He is an advocate of the use of quantitative data not only to describe outcomes and economic structures, but also to understand precisely the nature of change and what is driving this change.  Perhaps Andrew’s key skill is working with clients to ensure that projects delivered by Ortus deliver precisely the evidence and information required to support decision making, in the most effective and efficient way possible.


Martin Houghton

Martin has been central to many of Ortus’s (and TBR’s) economics based projects. Martin is a Chartered Engineer who has been involved in economic development for over 30 years.  He has led, managed or participated in a wide variety of economics projects including: an assessment of potential impacts on employment of an updated economic strategy for Sunderland City Council, analysis of future employment land needs for several London Boroughs, determining the skills requirements for the renewable energy sector, and understanding the skills requirements of the UK chemicals sector and the Royal Academy of Engineering as well as a host of other activities that involve establishing the economic impact of science and engineering based sectors.  The latter include:

  • establishing the size of the energy sector in the East of England, and developing action plans for the energy and engineering sector in the East of England
  • leading an export survey undertaken for the Coast to Capital LEP and the recently commissioned export work for EMB
  • preparation of an evidence base for sector selection (SEMLEP)
  • generating economic evidence for (C2C LEP)
  • a business survey for Camden Council
  • work for RICS to establish the case for regulation (Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013)

Many o these projects have included surveys of businesses that have been undertaken by our survey partner Qa.


Andrew Rowell

Andrew has 20 years’ experience in economic, labour market, learning and skills research and extensive experience of accessing and managing an array of data sources. Formerly head of the TBR Observatory, a team of specialist data analysts and statisticians, Andrew was previously responsible for the regional programme of research and analysis at Learning and Skills Council North East, and subsequently the Young People’s Learning Agency, North East. He has significant data analysis expertise, and an encyclopaedic knowledge and understanding of secondary UK datasets.

Andrew has significant experience of working with a wide range of national and local data sources to describe local and sectoral economies. He is expert in using official data sources to model potential changes in employment and skills needs, for example using SIC and SOC data to model the characteristics of the design economy and the resulting skills requirements. Andrew has managed and delivered a wide range of projects, including:

  • Design Council – Design Economy
  • London Mathematical Society – People Pipeline
  • Royal Academy of Engineering – Digital Skills Needs in the UK economy
  • Science Council – Science Workforce Mapping
  • DCMS – The Role of Culture, Sport and Heritage in Place-shaping
  • Crafts Council – Studying Craft
  • Westminster City Council – Westminster Evening & Night-Time Economy
  • Historic England on behalf of the North East Historic Environment Forum – Economic Evidence Toolkit
  • Sport England – Local Sport Profiles
  • NLGDAAC – Australian Night Time Economy Longitudinal Economic Profiling Tool

Andrew holds a BA (Hons) Communication Studies from Coventry University, and has Accredited Researcher status from ONS.