Local Economy Solutions Limited
 
The Regional Observatory

Providing insightful research and policy advice since 2004

Previously an operating unit of Advantage West Midlands, the former Regional Development agency, we are now hosted by Marketing Birmingham, the strategic marketing partnership for the Greater Birmingham area.
We work in a wide array of sectors – from advanced manufacturing and food & drink to low carbon and environmental technologies, health and life sciences, digital media and arts, cultural & creative industries. Equally we work with a diverse range of clients - from Local Enterprise Partnerships and local authorities to the higher and further education sectors, marketing agencies and private sector businesses.

Passionate about informing your thinking, planning and action

Recent projects have informed clients’ activities in a wide range of areas – from  inward investment and tourism strategies, business engagement plans, the development of business hubs and airport long haul route development to skills plans, curriculum planning, new Apprenticeship programmes and careers guidance.

Widely respected for our wealth of knowledge and rigorous, objective approach

The Observatory team has an in-depth understanding of the key issues and challenges facing key sectors and localities across the West Midlands. As well as offering access to our own unique data and analysis we can tap into our wider network of specialists to devise bespoke research solutions.
Critically, we also have the skills and experience to interpret and translate research data into meaningful conclusions and implications for strategy and policy.



About the team

The Observatory team has a wealth of knowledge and expertise relating to the West Midlands economy. We are experts on inward investment, tourism, skills and the labour market. As well as offering access to a wide range of unique, proprietary data and analysis we can tap into our wider network of specialists to devise bespoke research solutions. Critically, we also have the skills and experience to translate research data into meaningful conclusions and implications for your strategic thinking and policy development. 

Andy Phillips -Head of Research
Andy has specialised in research on the  West Midlands economy for the last 20 years. He has been Head of Research at the Regional Observatory and its predecessor the West Midlands Regional Observatory for the last 9 years.  Andy previously worked as a Research Manager for Birmingham & Solihull Learning & Skills Council and Training & Enterprise Council, as a Senior Economist for Birmingham City Council and as an economist for the West Midlands Enterprise Board.

Russell Hornsey – Senior Research Analyst
Russell has 15 years experience as a sector and business research specialist working for the Regional Observatory, Advantage West Midlands and the West Midlands Development Agency. He is an expert in database development and mapping and in inward investment research, and devised and developed our unique proprietary database of region-wide FDI projects.

Shannon Chu – Senior Research Analyst
With a background in economics, marketing and strategy Shannon has informed the strategic thinking, planning and policy development of a wide range of organisations  since she joined us in 2008. She leads on economic , demographic and sector analysis and  is an expert on the visitor economy.  

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