Ten years ago, I started Owen Davies Consulting with a simple aim: to help make places more memorable, liveable and viable.
Looking back, it was the right opportunity at the right time (and a bit of luck) that made it happen. I had spent many hours sketching out an idea for a purpose driven, creative, and bespoke consultancy – frustrated with the multi-national consultancy I was with at the time. And I had a couple of key clients that were also interested in the idea and willing to stick with me if I decided to take the plunge. The break came in May 2013, with my sketchy business plan, we launched.
I haven’t looked back – enjoying every opportunity to build a purpose driven team team and blending our planning, economic, regeneration and design skills. Plus, helping turnaround the fortunes of many types of places – buildings, streets, neighbourhoods, towns, cities, and on a bigger scale supporting government at local and regional levels to devise their strategies.
So, our first ten years have seen Owen Davies Consulting grow into a small but vastly experienced consultancy. I’ve picked up some accolades along the way such as becoming an expert for the Governments High Street Task Force and Fellow of the Institute of Place Management. Sometimes it feels like we punch above our weight as we deliver major initiatives and landmark projects across the UK – the latest helping Wrexham to gain its city status (enjoying its global fame I had to mention Wrexham !)
Through our work, we have also tried to be socially engaged, environmentally conscious practitioners doing our bit to help regenerate where we live, work and visit. Whether it’s been investing our own time and funds into repurposing an empty town centre property, providing the experience for budding students or volunteering with a heritage trust to help restore an amazing historic building.
It feels like I’ve been thinking about memorable, liveable and viable places long before it became branded as ‘placemaking’. And it’s all about sticking to what you know, doing your research, speaking to the right people and being clear how your ideas can make a difference.
Ideas + execution = impact
So, as we pass our ten-year milestone it’s time to thank the clients that trusted us with their briefs and their budgets. To the politicians, businesses, organisations and communities that have welcomed us to their town, city or neighbourhood. Thank you for your time, wisdom, and honesty. And to the team and range of experts we have worked with – urban designers, economists, engineers, artists and creatives – we are grateful for the new perspectives that you brought and the ideas that we have created together.
Here’s to another ten years. Here’s to regeneration and placemaking. And here’s to taking the plunge and a bit of luck.
PS – why not read about the projects we have been up to in our regular website news posts