Small schemes have a big role to play

There’s no doubting the importance of major infrastructure projects. From HS2 to Crossrail to Hinkley Point to the Gigafactory in Blyth – all make a vital contribution towards a greener, more sustainable and more equitable future.

But what about smaller schemes? In my view, they are equally as deserving of our attention. To decarbonise electricity, smaller-scale interventions like heat pumps, hydro- and wave power will be essential. Making transport greener requires local public transport and safe active travel options to encourage people out of their cars – whilst also supporting local regeneration and footfall.

How can we capture economic benefits of smaller projects?

Treasury’s Green Book – the primary UK guidance for economic appraisal – is commonly associated with major projects. However, its principles can still be applied for smaller schemes, and simplifying assumptions applied, as long as these are clearly explained.

Various benefits are captured within Green Book and related guidance – including energy and carbon-related benefits (BEIS), regeneration impacts (DLUHC), sustainable transport user benefits plus economic productivity impacts (DfT), benefits of local community and sporting facilities (DCMS), health cost savings from improved housing (TBRE)… the list goes on.

Where I can help

My recent work supporting a Levelling-Up Fund bid involved calculation of a range of economic benefits from a comparatively modest set of interventions, alongside their costs. The same benefits and costs apply to countless other local schemes. I have the experience and tools to perform such calculations quickly and efficiently, and can support the business case for infrastructure and regeneration schemes large and small.

Local regeneration scheme. Image source:

I can also share the methods and models, and provide training and support should clients wish to up-skill their own teams.

If there is something you think I can assist you with, drop me a line!

Published by Tim Ashwin

I am an independent consultant specialising in business cases, economic appraisals, feasibility & market studies, due diligence reviews and regulatory analysis for transport and infrastructure projects.

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