E20 ‘Olympicopolis’

Economic impact assessment

OUR BRIEF

BBP Regeneration worked with Shared Intelligence and Genecon to undertake economic impact assessments of each of the alternative, but not necessarily mutually exclusive, proposals.  The work involved preparing fully researched economic impact assessments that could be used to inform compelling businesses cases.  We were also required to act as a “critical friend” working alongside LLDC to help shape the emerging vision for QEOP.

OUR APPROACH

The first task undertaken was a preliminary economic impact assessment of the four alternative proposals for several key areas of the QEOP. In addition to initial briefings from the client group we met with promoters or specialist consultants involved with the alternative proposals in order to better understand the respective project scopes and objectives.
We worked closely with officers from different departments of the LLDC, including property and regeneration, in order to assemble the base data we needed.  The proposals were at very different levels of development, with some highly preliminary, requiring us to make assumptions about key project parameters.  Our assumptions were informed by research into examples of best practice and successful comparable projects elsewhere in the UK and beyond.

After producing the preliminary assessment, we facilitated a workshop with LLDC’s senior officers from design, property, regeneration and corporate teams.  It became clear that there was a real synergy between proposals from University College London (UCL) and the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) and LLDC’s objectives.  From this workshop the E2020 vision was born.  Our initial work had also indicated that the other alternative options were not appropriate as the focus of LLDC’s activity.

We then undertook a more detailed economic assessment of the E2020 Vision for the QEOP using a bespoke modelling approach.   This incorporated direct and indirect economic impacts arising from office, housing, retail, as well as new cultural uses and universities.  The assessment considered the LCS scheme as the “base case” and analysed both this and the E2020 Vision in terms of economic impacts arising from initial construction activity and the on-going “operation” of the completed schemes.

We assessed the net additional economic impact in line with Treasury “Green Book” guidance and drawing on established industry benchmarks. This meant taking account of factors such as deadweight, multiplier effects, leakage and displacement.

The impact was modelled on a cashflow basis enabling additionality to be expressed in terms of net present value (NPV). The financial impact for the LLDC and the fiscal impact was also factored in to complete the overall picture from a public sector perspective.

Throughout the project, we adopted a partnership approach, working closely with the client and key individuals from UCL and the V&A to gain an understanding of the respective body’s aims and objectives.  We also met with senior representatives of other key stakeholders such as the London Boroughs of Newham and Hackney and i-City.  This involved briefings to senior management at the LLDC and culminated in participation in the LLDC Board’s Away Day chaired by the Mayor of London.

OUTCOMES

The final outcome of the commission was the initial economic impact assessment of the E2020 vision. The figures produced as part of this contributed to a compelling business case made by the LLDC to HMT to proceed with the development of the E2020 Vision announced as part of the National Infrastructure Plan unveiled in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.