Project updates and news from our Economics research team

Project updates and news from our Economics research team

Life sciences report published

TBR was commissioned by UCB, a Belgium based pharmaceutical firm with extensive R&D activities in the UK, to assess the support environment for R&D in the life sciences in the UK.  The work highlighted that while UK government was committed to supporting the life sciences and is investing significant sums, the current arrangements could be improved to address issues of complexity, collaboration and competition. Download the report here: The Right Medicine – A Review of Support for Life Sciences R&D in the UK.

For more information contact Martin Houghton.


Government's new economic study of the low carbon economy nearing completion

In February 2014 BIS and DECC appointed TBR to deliver a new UK study of the low carbon economy.  It will provide a more focused and transparent assessment of the size and performance of the low carbon economy thanany previous study has achieved.  It uses a tighter definition and focuses only on economic activity that relates to low carbon products and services.

The study will include data on employment, turnover, GVA, investments, imports and exports and will provide these variables for each UK region and nation back to 2010.  

The project will cover 24 low carbon sub-sectors from offshore and onshore wind to geothermal to low carbon finance.  It has developed new definitions for the 'direct' activities which make up the low carbon economy across these 24 sub-sectors.  We have created a large, up to date dataset of firms operating in the sectors and developed techniques to quantify the economic value that these derive from their low carbon activities.  This has allowed us to overcome the major challenges in assessing the size and performance of the low carbon economy.

TBR has worked in partnership with Qa Research to deliver the primary research elements  of the study, and Sustainable Direction Limited (SDL) to develop the detailed definitions and deliver elements of the consultation.

For more information contact Martin Houghton.


Westminster City Council study on the Evening and Night Time Economy

TBR has been working in conjuction with Dr Philip Hadfield to deliver a large and wide ranging study of the Evening and Night Time Economy (ENTE) for Westminster City Council.  This is due to complete in December 2014.  The objectives of the study are to update the Council on its grounds for the continuation or revision of its current licensing policy.  We are delivering this through a detailed economic (cost-benefit) assessment of the ENTE coupled with a behavioural study led by Dr Hadfield.  The results will provide an important evidence base which the Council will use to inform decisions in the licensing policy and economic development arenas.

For more information contact Martin Houghton.


TBR to attend meeting with life sciences Minister

On 25th November Martin Houghton will be representing TBR at a high level meeting of life science industry representatives and the Life Sciences Minister, George Freeman MP, organised by Reform on behalf of UCB Pharmaceuticals.  TBR has recently completed a report for UCB, working in partnership with Dr Mike Nicholds of CBSL, to review the current support environment and to assess the impact that this has on drug development and the attractiveness of the UK as a location for investment.

For more information contact Martin Houghton.


Central Bedfordshire Productivity

In 2014, TBR investigated whether Central Bedfordshire should be considered a low productivity economy. The key finding was that it depends how you measure it!  GVA per resident is low, but this is driven by commuting patterns, whilst GVA per hour worked is relatively close to the national average. Certain features of the business stock were also found to be contributory factors.


Warwickshire Supplier Database

In 2014, TBR undertook undertook a really interesting study of the Warwickshire County Council supplier base, identifying the characteristics of suppliers including business size, spatial distribution.  Being able to join together the Council's data on suppliers and transactions with our data on company demographics and performance, meant this project could throw new light on an important part of the Council's activities and help it develop new policies to engage more small and local businesses.


LEP Network

TBR with Shared Intelligence were commissioned by The LEP Network to update and refresh the LEP Network Annual Benchmark Report. TBR’s deep understanding of data sources and data outputs helped to produce an accessible report and data appendices that use a range of data sources covering entrepreneurship, place & property and skills. The work utilised a range of data sources from the government and our own TCR database. The report will is available on the LEP Network website:

For more information, please contact 0191 279 0900.


New property regulation impact assessement published

TBR has recently completed a detailed impact assessment of proposed changes to regulations in the residential property market.  RICS has today (5th February) released press statements and have covered the research on their website here.  The research indicates that the compulsory regulation of lettings agents, combined with the introduction of professional standards for all sales and agents could generate over £20million of benefits per year to the UK economy. To find out more, contact Andrew Graves.

You can read more about it in the news on the links below :


LEPs - Key Performance Indicators and High Growth Businesses

TBR is working closely with a number of LEPs to provide detailed evidence bases to enhance local growth opportunities. Coventry and Warwickshire LEP has appointed TBR to investigate the development of a model to help categorise firms by their growth potential. The project will develop a model which can be used to help support the client and partners to prioritise resources in supporting businesses, and to design and implement support programmes which are appropriate to target businesses. This project will use TBR’s extensive knowledge and understanding of the growth agenda and the debate around the importance of, and approaches to identifying, high growth firms.  

If you have any questions please contact or alternatively to one of the team on 0191 279 0900. 

Contact us

Contact Andrew Graves to find out more about our research and consultancy services in economics.

Get in touch with us if you have a query or would like more information on TBR and our work:

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