Economic Impact Assessment of Public Health England’s relocation to Harlow, Essex
Steer Economic Development was commissioned by Public Health England (PHE) to undertake an economic impact assessment of the proposal to develop the largest public health campus in Europe. The £600m investment, accommodating over 2,000 jobs, will see the relocation of PHE’s R&D and Policy Teams to a 40-acre, former Glaxo Smith Kline facility on the edge of Harlow town centre.
Working alongside PHE and Harlow District Council, Steer Economic Development delivered an independent economic impact assessment of the quantitative and qualitative impacts of PHE’s proposed relocation of three large sites to Harlow. The work involved:
- Preparing a detailed socio-economic baseline for the local area;
- Developing a ‘routes to impact’ model to capture the breadth of the economic and social impacts arising from the relocation;
- Producing, and handing over, a transparent economic impact assessment (EIA) of potential impacts of the relocation on Harlow and surrounding area; and
- Developing a monitoring and evaluation framework whereby impacts can be tracked against the objectives of the relocation.
The methodology included detailed analyses of PHE’s procurement practices and Harlow’s socioeconomic baseline, so as to build a robust EIA. This quantitative evidence was supplemented with qualitative insight from about 30 in-depth consultations with key stakeholders in local, regional, and national public sector organisations, business representative groups, local higher and further education institutes, and developers.
The outcome of this work was a robust and updatable economic impact assessment model – handed over to PHE - and a substantive supporting report setting out time-bound recommendations for how PHE and stakeholders could maximise the benefits of relocation for Harlow and its surrounding area.
Darren Geater, Head of Benefits and Information Management:
“Steer ED met all the requirements of this commission and delivered a robust product that has real traction in the Programme. During the process, Steer-ED maintained an independent voice but were focussed on meeting our requirements and very client orientated. They were proactive in suggesting solutions to our issues as they arose, and I was especially impressed with their evidence-based approach. They also displayed excellent stakeholder engagement skills, working across our own external stakeholders as well as reaching out to different organisations to deliver a set of case studies. Most important to me was their investment in making their final output a “live” product that could be updated and would add value beyond initial release. I would highly recommend their services.”