Consulting/Business Services
Caroline Platt Consultancy

About Caroline

My specialisms are

  • Strategy development
  • Programme and project development
  • Project appraisal
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Resource procurement 

I have worked with European Structural Funds (ESF and ERDF) and UK Government funding regimes since 1995. Throughout my career I have secured more than £5m from EU and UK Government sources and am an accomplished bid writer.

I have come to understand the importance of being able to write and encapsulate things in a manner that meets the needs of the audience.

My project portfolio ranges from a property new build of 22,000 sq ft, to highway connectivity and access, to the reclamation and restoration of former landfill site. Broader experience within a wider 'economic' agenda has meant that I have also had involvement with neighbourhood management, community economic development, skills training and employment, public art and health regeneration.

The nature of project work demands being able to influence, give advice to and build effective working relationships across the board, with public, private and third sector partners.

Working with funding streams over the years I have direct experience of statistical performance monitoring and reporting to external agencies; Departmental Heads on scheme and individual project performance, progress against meeting outputs and outcomes and target KPIs/milestones.

I have knowledge of EU/UK Government funding regimes and regulations around Procurement, State Aid and record keeping to meet EU Audit and Verification requirements.

I have a working knowledge of procuring Consultants through the Council’s Framework and of the CHEST – the NW Local Authority Procurement Portal.

I am a Graduate Member of the Institute of Fundraising and currently hold a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA).

In April 2015 I set up my own Consultancy offering bid writing and funding support to companies and not-for-profit organisations, including charities and social enterprises.

In Sep 2015 I joined Peter Riley and Paul Ellis to collaborate together on REP Consulting.

 

Career History

 

Caroline Platt Bid Writer and Funding Consultancy and Member of St. Helens Chamber

StHChamberLogo height 108

April 2015 to Present St. Helens

Funding investigation: identifying potential funding streams aligned to the growth objectives of the organisation or project scope.
Advising on project development, including reviewing and assessing grant applications before they are submitted.

Writing applications for grant funding (e.g. National Lottery ‘Good Causes’, UK Government Grants, Charitable Trusts and Foundations, Regional Growth Fund, European Funding).

Business planning to support grant funding applications.

Project appraisal.

Fixed-term or project-by-project consultancy services for individual organisations who may not have the skills, knowledge or experience in-house.

Monitoring and systems development; developing effective in-house monitoring systems, record keeping to meet audit and verification requirements, audit ‘health checks’.

Research and investigations; independent evaluation, bespoke pieces of work supporting Economic Development and Regeneration.

Navigating Procurement Frameworks for example CHEST (North West Local Authority Procurement Portal), Chambers of Commerce, Contracts Finder, PublicTenders.net, TED (EU online website aligned to OJEC).

 

Volunteer Project Manager, Secretary and Future Trustee – Cannington Shaw Preservation Trust
St. Helens Heritage Network

January 2015 – Present St. Helens

Volunteer Project Management to the Cannington Shaw Bottle Shop Project and Member of Princes Trust Regeneration BRICK. The site is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, Grade II Listed Building and has designated Heritage at Risk status. Dialogue has opened with Historic England officers and a scoping document has been submitted.

The group are currently formalising themselves into a Constituted Body, Preservation Trust and 'Friends of Cannington Shaw' and are learning from best practice in the North West about joint Charitable status. Caroline has attended the BRICK Workshop in Llandudno (June 2015) and the Reconnections Industrial, Maritime and Transport Heritage Conference in Liverpool (Oct 2015).

 

Home Tutor, Parent Volunteer and Teaching Assistant Support

St. Aidans C of E Primary School, Billinge

October 2013 – December 2014 (1 year 3 months) St. Helens

Home Tutor to my son at home and in hospital during 4 months of serious illness. Working to Y2 curriculum in partnership with teachers at St. Aidans Primary School.

Qualified Level 2 Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools (Aug 2014)

 

Project Manager – Economic Projects Wirral Borough Council

April 2008 – August 2013 (5 years 5 months) Regeneration, Housing and Planning

Capital Schemes of £2-3m. Key responsibilities: land and property search, understanding planning policy and LDF and land use designations, legal title and land ownership, restrictive covenants to development, site and ground condition investigations, land reclamation, navigating the planning system. Collaborative working across the Authority to ensure technical integration and implement solutions to achieve project deliverables. Management of community and political expectations, addressing issues raised by members, other politicians, community residents or external stakeholders.

Designated Project Manager for Mersey Coastal Park. 3 years+ developing and shaping the Mersey Coastal Park Strategy. Management of a Launch Event and Public Consultation at early stages of policy development. Aligning Mersey Coastal Park to Wirral's Investment Strategy, Local Development Framework and key spatial, economic, coastal protection, shoreline management, tourism and conservation/heritage strategies.

Implementation of Mersey Coastal Park constituent Strategic Projects including:-

- Rock Ferry Waterfront Masterplan. Joint Chair of the Rock Ferry Waterfront Working Group. Overseeing scoping, feasibility study and masterplanning activity. Securing planning permission for a new A41 traffic lighted junction and car park. Updating the specification for the repair/restoration of the Esplanade. Investigating funding opportunities. Private sector investment and launch of the Refreshment Rooms Public House.

- Port Sunlight River Park, a £2.6m investment of legacy Newlands 2/Biffa funding which has transformed 28 ha of a former landfill site in Bromborough into a public park and major waterfront attraction. The site opened to the public Summer 2014.

 

Project Manager – Wirral Waterfront SRB 6 Initiative Wirral Borough Council

September 2002 – March 2008 (5 years 7 months)

Project Manager for Wirral Waterfront - a £144m government regeneration initiative funded through SRB 6 and the Merseyside Objective 1 Programme.

Programme A - Birkenhead Neighbourhood. Project type - Property New Build of 22,000 sq. ft. 2 years+ working on the development of the 'St. James Centre', a flagship project of circa £2.6m investment and a multi-purpose community facility on the site of the former St. James Library in North Birkenhead. Personally responsible for securing £1.9m towards the new build. Member of the Partnering Team overseeing Wirral Council's first PPC 2000 construction contract with Agreed Maximum contract price thresholds. Claims and draw down of ERDF based on contractor Valuation Certificates. Practical completion and handover of the building from Bardsley to the North Birkenhead Development Trust. 12 months+ intensive work in the North End establishing the Trust Company and agreeing on Board membership, voting mechanisms and appointments to the Trust.

Programme B - Wirral into Employment; Development and appraisal of Employment projects to the value of £562,044. Evaluation oversight. Personally responsible for research and development of a Mid-Term Evaluation of Prog B in 2003. Joint commissioning NRF.
Programme C - Economic Programme. Evaluation oversight. Thematic linkages Health/Housing Market Renewal Church Road. Overseeing Thematic Evaluation of all SRB schemes awarded to Wirral in Rounds 1-6. Implementation of £1m A41 Road Corridor Image Improvements; gateway and welcome signs, banners, landscaping, sandstone features, parking bays. Advert in specialist Artist Journal to design and install a Welcome to Wirral Gateway feature; 12 months+ working with artists on consultation, detailed design and submission of planning application.

 

SRB Scheme Officer West Lancashire District Council

May 2000 – September 2002 (2 years 5 months)

Assisting the Programme Manager in the development, delivery and wind-up of the £4.3m SRB scheme post March 2002.

SRB Programme Development – Development of business case and strategy. Preparation of annual Delivery Plan and delivery of scheme to agreed project objectives and targets. Joint reporting to SRB Board and NWDA along with the Scheme Manager on all aspects of the SRB Programme. Information management. Personally responsible for quarterly claims processing/problem solving and desk monitoring of scheme performance against profiled targets. Reconciliation of accounts. Development of a Monitoring Plan and establishing robust monitoring systems and paperwork. Close working with Monitoring Officer in identifying problems and areas of non-compliance. Ad-hoc monitoring visits. Development of risk and asset registers. Project Exit Reports.

SRB Project Development – Lead overseeing local bidding rounds. Promoting and explaining SRB grant regimes to potential applicants, providing advice and support and securing a pipeline of projects with potential to progress to full application stage. Project Champion and capacity building of applicants. Economic appraisal aligned to SRB Appraisal Framework. Reporting recommendations to Executive Board and Cabinet. Issue of Grant Offer letter. Post approval assistance to ensure that projects were properly planned, organized, directed and monitored from the bid phase through to delivery. Inform any necessary reprofiling or corrective action. Further signposting to maximise on the grant and pursue leads for further support or mainstreaming. Agreeing exit strategies with projects.

 

Resource Procurement Officer LAWTEC

1998 – 2000 (2 years)

Resource Procurement Officer responsible for producing bids and maximising on external funding opportunities. Over an 18 month period successful in securing £1.6m of EU/SRB funding to help meet LAWTEC’s corporate objectives around skills and enterprise. Lead person representing the TEC on local and regional scoring panels, assessing funding bids against definitive scoring criteria. Claims processing to external funder deadlines and processes, development of monitoring systems and record keeping/audit trail to ensure compliance with EU Audit and Verification requirements. Capacity building of TEC Project and Contract Managers.

 

Personal Assistant to NW TEC European Regional Co-ordinator

NW Council for Training and Enterprise

January 1995 – May 1998 (3 years 5 months)

Member of a small, highly productive team of 3 people supporting the NW Network of Training and Enterprise Councils (TECs). The Network provided advisory services and acted as a central information point on EU Funding. EU Structural Funds at that time were sector managed. Management of ESF and ERDF bidding rounds and provision of advice/support to help TECs to maximise on EU funding. Committee Secretary to NW Objective 2, 3, 4 Task Groups on behalf of Government Office North West. Principal conference organiser and event manager including a yearly Away Day training event for TEC European Officers. Responsible for the co-ordination and delivery of a transnational LEONARDO Event in Manchester.

Memberships

InstituteOfFundraising

Institute of Fundraising, Full Graduate Membership Awarded August 2015

Education
2015  St. Helens Chamber Business Start Up Programme    StHChamberLogo height 108
2008 Novare Consulting PRINCE 2 Foundation and Practitioner   Prince2
2000 – 2001

Master of Business Administration (MBA), MBA with Merit

MBA Thesis: 'Best Value and Regeneration. A Critical Analysis of the Best Value Process and its' application to a Round 3 Single Regeneration Budget Scheme in Skelmersdale'

University of Central Lancashire, Preston uclan
1999 - 2000 Post Graduate Diploma in Management, DMS, Pass and Progression to MBA University of Central Lancashire, Preston  uclan
1991 - 1994 BA (Hons) European Business Administration and Languages, Upper Second (2:1) University of Central Lancashire, Preston  uclan
  Language Major: Spanish. Minor: French.    
  The three year BA Hons course involved a six month placement with a Spanish University in San Sebastian.    

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