ACT (Amwell Consultancy & Training Ltd)
has substantial experience, particularly in the UK of developing services to leisure and tourism. We have been involved in the production of Cultural Strategies for many local authorites and these form the "Blueprint" for the development of Cultural Services within an area.

Leisure and Tourism is the world's largest industry and it continues to grow year on year. The industry has a clear role to play in economic development and regeneration, although sustainable tourism, particularly in the Third World, is a major issue.

ACT can help you with the following range of Consultancy and Training services:

  • PFI advice and guidance, including project management
  • Producing Cultural Strategies and Tourism Strategies for local authorities
  • Carrying out feasibility studies,business planning and market analysis
  • Developing arts, cultural, heritage and visitor attraction tourism
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of Tourism Information Centres (TICs)
  • Devising hotel and accommodation strategies
  • Conducting leisure audits and producing sector criteria reports
  • Developing leisure and tourism regeneration strategies
  • Providing project development and project management skills
  • Carrying out staff development and training in the sector
  • Marketing and promotion of leisure and tourism sites

Alternative Ways of Delivering Services
Leisure Management underwent substantial change in the early 1990s when Compulsory Competitive Tendering (CCT) was introduced. Although CCT is now longer relevant, major changes did occur, and are continuing to occur, in the management of leisure facilities around the country. Very often , these changes are driven by the desire to reduce costs and to draw in investment from the private sector. A fundamental reappraisal of a range of public services, including leisure, is often the way forward. Sometimes this comes about from the Best Value process which superseded CCT.

In recent years, a variety of new and revised approaches to service delivery have been tried, with success, and these include: trust status, market testing, externalisations, private sector involvement, more local delivery of services and increased community involvement. Often benefits arising from these approaches include: capital investment by the private sector, more efficient delivery of services and improved value for money.

ACT is also able to assist in the development of new leisure facilities under the PFI scheme and ACT has been commissioned to lead the Breckland PFI project in Dereham and Thetford - an artist's impression of the new Dereham facility is shown (above). ACT also advised Swindon Borough Council on a major PFI cultural scheme for a new art gallery, museum and central library.

Keith Stevens is a particularily experienced project manager and has been involved in numerous large scale construction projects

ACT can help you with the following range of Consultancy and Training services:
  • PFI advice and guidance, including project management
  • Auditing and analysing existing service delivery
  • Carrying out value for money analyses and budgetary reviews
  • Establishing service priorities and benchmarking against other providers
  • Preparing service specifications, against which to measure performance, including the formulation of performance indicators
  • Compiling skills audits and training needs' assessments
  • Advising on and managing the change process
  • Conducting management reviews and restructuring, including downsizing and delayering
  • Identifying and implementing alternative service delivery mechanisms
  • Carrying out market testing of services, including competitive tendering, externalisations and privatisations
  • Assessing tenders and contract monitoring
  • Enabling the local delivery of services with increased community participation.

Business Planning and Feasibility Studies
An effective business plan is the key tool in the development of any business and it is something that needs to be kept continually under review. In addition, no new service or activity should be developed without a comprehensive business plan being devised. In order to inform the process, it is essential that feasibility studies are carried out and ACT is able to assist with this.

ACT can help you with the following range of Consultancy and Training services:
  • PFI advice and guidance, including project management
  • Researching and producing feasibility studies and business plans for new services or activities
  • Carrying out business reviews and providing appropriate support
  • Assisting with product development and marketing
  • Providing business plans and feasibility studies to support bids for external funding such as big Lottery and other funding regimes.

Funding Regimes
There is a myriad of funding regimes available and which can be very time consuming to research and prepare bids and there is no guarantee of success. Even if you are successful, there is a significant resource implication in managing and monitoring the bids.

ACT can help you with the following range of Consultancy and Training services:
  • Analysing needs and identifying the most appropriate action programmes
  • Evaluating projects and providing bid guidance and preparation, against the stated criteria
  • Submitting bids with, and on behalf of, the Client organisation to the regime's' guidelines
  • Identifying and building partnerships
  • Providing programme support to the Programme Managers
  • Carrying out policy and programme reviews to identify obstacles to implementation and the options which facilitate service delivery
  • Developing and training staff involved on the programmes.
Recent Clients include:
Breckland Council
Essex County Council
Nottinghamshire County Council
Stroud District Council
Epping Forest District Council
LB Lambeth
Swindon Borough Council
Swindon Leisure
Southampton City Council
Surrey Heath Borough Council
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