Great Fen Socio-Economic and Funding Strategy

Client: Great Fen Project Partnership

Cumulus Consultants was commissioned by the Great Fen Project Partnership to provide a socio-economic development and funding strategy and a route map for delivery. This built on an earlier study in which Cumulus assessed the socio-economic value of the Great Fen.


During the seven month project, we undertook desk-based research, explored funding streams, facilitated workshops with the project partner, and consulted with stakeholders, prior to producing a final strategy.

The strategy, completed in 2014, sets out guiding principles and strategic goals for the socio-economic development of the Great Fen. It evaluates a range of business opportunities, and how these can be taken forward with partners. Key ‘building blocks’ required to unlock these opportunities are identified and appraised. Resourcing needs and potential funding sources are then detailed. The strategy concludes with future opportunities and risks, indicators and a route map.

Findings and recommendations

Key findings arising from the Gloucestershire Level 2 report included:

  • Business opportunities include those critical to the vision and others
  • Building blocks include physical and organisational infrastructure
  • Population and economic growth in the area provide opportunities
  • Socio-economic success will depend on collaborative effort

Key recommendations for delivery are set out in the form of a Route Map for the period 2014-2020.

Key benefits

  • Provided a strategic framework for socio-economic development of the Great Fen
  • Developed relations with the business community and other stakeholders
  • Identified and scoped potential sources of funding
  • Provided a monitoring framework including a number of Key Performance Indicators.


Links to an executive summary of our initial socio-economic study, and news about the Great Fen Business Forum can be accessed here:

You did an excellent job, and the LEED workshops are a challenging thing to deliver. We particularly valued your open and clear communications, being willing to pick up additional work where the project needed further input. It’s been a pleasure working with you.

Tom Butterworth and Tim Sunderland, Natural England