Our team embody our vision and values and are some of the UK’s most respected subject matter experts. Politically astute, we are able to operate within complex environments as part of extended teams.
Our skillset is unique, combining a deep understanding of the challenges faced by our clients, sector leading technical expertise and a passion for enabling fairer, diverse and inclusive active communities. We bring a can-do attitude, momentum and energy to every project and programme we support.
This is why our clients see us as a critical friend, an extension of their own teams and ask us to work alongside them time and time again.
What’s working with Duncan like?
“Duncan has a unique ability to understand highly complex, political challenges and work through them alongside his client, elected members and team. He ensures his client is fully supported and sighted on the key issues, risks and opportunities. He communicates effectively with senior politicians, executive directors and senior officers. His leadership, support and advice is highly valued.”
You can reach Duncan via email or telephone at 07930 549580.
Duncan is a leading strategic adviser to the public leisure, sport, physical activity and wellbeing sector. His 35-year career spans working in inner-city sport and leisure facilities, schools, developing and operating facilities and managing services in local government. In the last 22 years he has advised the public sector, working in niche and FTSE 100 blue-chip consultancies. At each stage along this journey he has delivered some exceptional outcomes for the organisations he works alongside – including major UK cities, Sport England and local authorities.
He has led some of the most complex leisure service transformation programmes and is comfortable working in extremely challenging and dynamic political environments, bringing focus, clarity and purpose to clients and teams he supports. Duncan’s educational background includes a BSc (Sports Science and Recreation Management) from Loughborough University and an MBA from Henley Management College, supplemented by international study tours. He is highly regarded within the sector and across local government as a thought leader and has written extensively in national publications and spoken at national conferences . Duncan is a former Executive Member of the Chief Cultural and Leisure Officers Association (2012-2017) and was the tenth person to achieve Chartered Fellow status at the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA).
He regularly contributes to national guidance and recently supported Sport England in developing the updated Strategic Outcomes Planning Guidance and led SLC in developing the Leisure Services Delivery Guidance (formerly the Sport England Procurement Toolkit).
His long career highlights include; successfully developing three innovative community leisure facilities in the 1990’s, developing Quest – the UK Quality scheme for Sport and Leisure into a nationally recognised award in the early 2000’s, supporting a range of Olympic Legacy projects and being lead adviser on the ground-breaking Orford Jubilee Neighbourhood Hub in Warrington.
In his spare time Duncan is a Level 2 regional league hockey umpire, cycles as much as he can and mentors young people at his local secondary school, Oathall College.
What’s working with David like?
“Working with David provides clients with total confidence and assurance that they’re in the right hands. His methodical approach to planning complex management options appraisals, leisure operational partnerships and procurements, taking clients on every step of the journey, is unrivalled. His relationships with, and knowledge of, the leisure operator market is unrivalled. He is accessible and happy to walk through any aspect of the project with clients, which provides them with real comfort.”
David has over 25 years of experience in the sport, leisure and culture sector. He has particular expertise in delivering sustainable sport, physical activity and wellbeing services further enhanced by being the lead researcher and author of Sport England’s Leisure Services Delivery Guidance, which will replace and enhance the Procurement Toolkit in 2021. The new guidance covers all aspects of commissioning from strategy, options appraisal and strategic delivery including through procurement, in-house, Local Authority Trading Companies and local trust management models.
David has led on a number of SLC’s transformation and procurement projects delivering millions in savings for local authorities, schools and third sector organisations.
David has 10 years of management experience with two of the UK’s leading leisure operators in group management and business development roles. He also spent 10 years at the Audit Commission, inspecting leisure and cultural services in over 60 local authorities. This provides our clients with unrivalled expertise on commissioning sport, physical activity and wellbeing services.
David brings this unique experience on commissioning projects and has led to much better contracts and partnerships for over 50 local authorities , significantly improving financial and non-financial outcomes for our clients whatever their chosen management model.
He has a great sense of humour and works brilliantly with elected members and senior stakeholders.
David holds a Masters in Recreation Management from Loughborough University.
David’s spare time is focused on hockey, tennis and swimming, whether coaching hockey or supporting his children’s sporting interests. He has been a club volunteer for over 30 years.
What’s working with Toby like?
“Toby brings a calm and considered approach to any project he leads. The relationships that he develops with clients are built on trust, high quality and consistency of delivery. He can cope with unexpected issues and challenges, smoothing the way for the project and managing risks proactively. An excellent listener and strategic thinker, he offers a unique blend of talent, rigour and balance. If you have a tough project to deliver, Toby’s a natural choice.”
Since joining SLC in 2015, Toby has firmly established himself as one of the leading strategic advisors within the physical activity, sport and wellbeing sector and is passionate about developing services and facilities that contribute to better health outcomes for local communities.
An MBA graduate with a strong background in operational management, facility development and local authority commissioning, Toby is a key part of the SLC team leading transformational change in the wake of Covid-19, providing expert guidance to local authorities on new strategic approaches to service delivery and facility development.
Toby has a reputation within the sector as an innovative, forward-thinker with an exceptional eye for detail and impeccable project management. He is highly skilled at managing senior stakeholders, building trust amongst officers and elected Members and his commitment to delivering high quality outputs results in consistently excellent feedback from our clients.
Toby has recently led on a series of high-profile projects and programmes ranging from sport and physical activity strategies, feasibility studies, parks and open spaces masterplanning, management options appraisals, leisure procurements and contract reviews. This breadth of understanding of the sector combined with highly developed consulting skills means that he adds significant value to any project he leads.
Outside work, Toby’s main interests involve spending time with his family and coaching and playing for Findon Cricket Club.
What’s working with Anna like?
“Anna’s working style is understated and calm. She provides high-quality detailed analysis of complex issues and scenarios. Her ability to work effectively in a team ensures that our clients get the very best outcome. Anna has a sharp intellect with the ability to take a complex problem, break it down and simplify it. Her consulting skills are superb.”
Having joined SLC as a Research Consultant, Anna has progressed through the organisation to her current role of Director, accumulating broad consultancy experience across a wide range of projects and programmes. As a certified PRINCE2 practitioner, Anna leads SLC’s approach to project management and she has successfully delivered well over 150 projects for SLC. She has considerable experience in all of SLC’s core offer including; strategy and planning support, feasibility and masterplanning, management options appraisals, procurement and partnering.
Anna specialises in providing focused support within complex projects, particularly those involving the development of insight and market assessment, business planning, financial modelling and analysis. She has led on the development of complex portfolio-wide business cases for two core cities and played a leading role in developing SLC’s approach to providing Covid-19 lockdown and recovery support.
Anna is responsible for SLC’s ISO 9001:2015 quality management certification and overseeing all quality processes in the company. SLC are proud of this certification, as it ensures all company processes meet very high standards and sets us apart from other consultancies.
In her spare time Anna is a keen cyclist, cycling in the UK and across Europe.
A graduate with legal training, Chetan moved into corporate finance in 2010, working with a range of corporate finance and corporate services products, with long stints in New York and Hong Kong. Chetan ultimately progressed to board level, before moving into business consultancy in 2018, working independently with several clients across a variety of sectors.
Chetan is currently supporting a number of SLC projects linked to our strategic planning, service delivery and advisory work.
Chetan has a keen eye for detail orientated research and reporting, and deep experience in consulting methodologies. Chetan will be bringing this broad experience to bolster the senior team and provide a fresh perspective for our major programmes and projects. Chetan is currently undertaking formal PRINCE2 qualifications, and in his free time enjoys walking across the South Downs and Ashdown Forest.
What’s working with Gaby like?
“Gaby is a confident communicator and has an ability to adapt to challenges as they emerge in a project. She has great energy and a proactive can-do attitude which makes her a valued asset to any team. She is confident, diligent and dynamic, with a real passion for the sector.”
Gaby has a Master’s Degree with Distinction in Sports Law from Nottingham Trent University where she held both academic and sports scholarships. Prior to that, Gaby graduated from the University of Liverpool with LLB First Class Honours reading Law with Philosophy. Gaby currently represent Wales Lacrosse on the international stage.
Prior to joining SLC, Gaby was a sport & leisure business advisor for the LK2 Group companies, with specialism in the procurement and delivery of sports, leisure, commercial and educational developments. A key element of her role was managing multiple stakeholders, including clients, NGBs, landowners, educational institutions and local authorities to successfully deliver high level capital projects from concept to delivery. Gaby has excellent client relationship, stakeholder management and strategic solution skills. She has highly developed consultation skills with stakeholders across a range of projects.
Andy Reed OBE
Andy Reed is the Director of SajeImpact, the Sports Think Tank and Loughborough University Institute for Sport Business. In 2012, Andy was awarded the OBE for services to Sport and the Community in Leicestershire.
A former MP, Andy has a strong association with Sport Policy. He chaired the Parliamentary Sports Caucus and was secretary of various All-Party Sports Groups including the All Party Parliamentary Group for Sport. Andy played a role in the 2012 Olympic bid. He was Chair of the Sport and Recreation Alliance from 2010 to 2016 and is now a Vice President. Andy chaired his local Leicestershire County Sports partnership for 12 years. He has served on the Boards of Special Olympics GB and British Basketball League Foundation and the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA), his Local Enterprise Partnership Board – Leicestershire LEP and the Government’s Sports Business Council.
Andy’s company SajeImpact has worked with Sports Leaders UK, the Youth Sports Trust and Nike. Other clients have included the ASA, Sporting Equals, Sports Aid, Sports Coach UK, the LTA, the RFU and London Sport.
Andy joined the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership in 2015 to promote the economic impact of sport and to widen the understanding of the health and wellbeing agenda and its economic impact on the economy.
In 2016 Andy was appointed by the Sports Minister Tracey Crouch to lead the Review of the County Sports Partnerships as part of the government’s new Sporting Futures Strategy.
Andy shares SLC’s values and can provide SLC clients and their programmes and projects with his unique perspective of the wider sector as a strategic counsel.
Associate – Architect
Paul is one the most respected architects in the sport and leisure sector. He has more than 30 years’ specific experience of designing and delivering swimming pools and leisure centres, principally in the public sector, including liaison with public and private operators and trusts. He works closely with clients to guide and advise them from the feasibility stage through to procurement, design, project management and delivery. Paul ensures that his strong beliefs in innovation, collaborative working and delivering client satisfaction are communicated clearly to members of the design and construction team on all his projects.
Paul has been SLC’s lead architect since 2009 and has worked on a number of our projects, including Girvan Pool, Scaltback Community Hub, St Johns School, Maccabi London Brady, Chelmsford Riverside Centre, One NK at North Hykeham and Perdiswell Leisure Centre, Worcester (the latter two projects in collaboration with NORR Architects).
Dr Jon Argent
Dr Jon Argent is a multi-skilled strategic leader with a deep track record in the sport, physical activity leisure and wellbeing sector.
Jon is a former Chief Executive of Leisure Trust HALO and spent 8 years as National Partnerships Director at GLL. He holds a DBA, MBA, and is a Chartered Fellow and Elected Board Trustee of CIMPSA. Jon also sits on the Moving Communities Board.
Jon’s expertise includes corporate governance, service transformation, and strategic partnership development. Jon brings a unique blend of deep sector experience aligned with a collaborative and engaging approach to tackle complex issues. One of the sector’s most respected thought leaders, he will bring significant value to any project or programme he supports.
Nalin has worked at a strategic level for over two decades in both the private and public sectors in the fields of construction, property, and regeneration.
After reaching the level of director and shareholder of a major construction and development company in the South West, he joined the public sector. Nalin was Chief Property officer to both Plymouth and Sheffield City Councils. While at Sheffield Nalin led on the strategic implementation of the £470m Heart of the City development and more recently led on the delivery of Sheffield’s City Centre Strategic Vision in his role as Director of City Centre Development.
Recently, Nalin took up a trustee role with SAGE Sheffield, a charity providing therapeutic arts/horticulture programmes for people whose lives are greatly impacted by mental illness.
Nalin is a fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Royal Society for Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce.
Dannielle founded Proper Active in 2018 to help end the lottery of sporting experience and bring positive opportunities to people of all backgrounds and abilities.
Growing up Dannielle saw physical activity as an exclusive environment reserved for the talented. That was until she had a different experience with a local sports team who prioritised enjoyment over results. That was when she realised what physical activity could offer and it became her mission to make opportunities like this the norm.
Dannielle is a problem solver with a background in behavioural science, social research, and strategy. She is a highly skilled collaborator with a detailed understanding of participation in physical activity.
Dannielle is supporting SLC in developing our approach to addressing inequalities and further embedding welcoming environments into our work. She is also supporting SLC clients in developing their strategies to help them build back fairer.
Associate – Cost Consultant
John became a senior partner of Castons in 1995 and has considerable experience in all aspects of the construction industry, concentrating on the provision of quantity surveying and project management services. John specialises in the leisure, health, education and community sectors, working closely with Paul Weston on all SLC’s design feasibility studies. His experience in providing accurate risk estimates and cost profiles sets Castons apart from other cost consultants.
As a past chairman of the RICS East Anglia branch quantity surveying division, John is keen to improve the image of the construction industry within the business community. Castons have been SLC’s preferred cost consultant since 2009.
Associate – Culture
William Culver-Dodds is one of UK’s leading cultural consultants. He undertakes feasibility studies, demand analysis and options appraisals for cultural projects. William has developed successful income-generation strategies and fundraising for cultural projects and programmes. He also supports organisational development and governance in the cultural sector.
William has a highly regarded track record across a range of cultural projects and services and has been a longstanding Associate of SLC.
William has worked with SLC on the development of the Derby Silk Mill which has undergone a transformation and a number of cultural projects in North Kesteven.
Steve has over 30 years’ experience of delivering successful outcomes in the development and management of sport, leisure and culture provision at all levels – from high performance sport programmes for government agencies and national governing bodies; to art, health and community sport development within local government; and, to providing an inspiring student sport offer within higher education.
Steve has an array of operational facility management, facility development, leisure procurement and investment expertise spanning both community and national facilities. He has considerable experience of developing new partnerships, leading strategic reviews, operational service re-modelling and restructures.
Steve also advises on S106 and CIL assessments, infrastructure planning, site master planning and assessments, planning applications and appeals and has supported the preparation of numerous successful grant funding bids.