David Howells, BA (Hons), Director
David is a professionally qualified and highly experienced individual working in the field of regeneration and economic development. He has a Postgraduate Diploma in Tourism Management from the University of Surrey and has significant consultancy experience of developing tourism strategies, programmes, development structuring and impact assessment.
With over 20 years experience of working in both the public and private sector, he has specific knowledge and experience of regeneration and economic development, including socio-economic research, feasibility and options appraisal, business planning, tourism sector and cluster development and community regeneration. He also has experience of structuring and delivering multi-disciplinary programmes and projects to promote holistic regeneration, including devising delivery structures and presenting funding packages.
David has worked on a number of destination-based studies that have included an analysis and assessment of the role of the adventure tourism sector as a regeneration tool, including work in North Wales, Cumbria and masterplan programmes in Littlehampton, Bognor Regis and Worthing.
Kevin Brown BSc PG Dip, Director
Kevin leads the consultancy in strategic planning and options appraisals. Kevin has a sound knowledge of research based appraisal work in tourism, leisure and community development projects. He has considerable experience in feasibility studies, business planning and exit strategies, agency and acquisitions. He also provides support for site appraisals, planning and Audience Development Plans.
Prior to joining Planning Solutions Consulting, Kevin worked for Fleury Manico, Chartered Surveyors, a specialist leisure company where he was Head of Research. Kevin led all the research based activities which formed an important aspect of valuation advice. He secured the firm’s inclusion on the Register of Expert Advisers for the Lottery Sports Fund and managed the in house research archives and data systems. Previously Kevin worked for four years at South East England Tourist Board managing the grant scheme (Section 4) for tourism development projects in the Region.
Richard Linington BA (Hons) MA, Head of Research
Richard Linington is the director of research and has some 11 years of commercial experience in the tourism, regeneration and design sectors. Richard has experience of working on complex projects where he has carried out research to identify and assess the most appropriate development solutions.
He carries out feasibility studies, prepares option appraisals, development strategies and business plans for a range of clients from the Forestry Commission through to Tourism South East, Wildlife Trusts and Regional Development Agencies. Richard also manages the marketing strategy for Conkers, a £16 million visitor attraction in the Heart of the National Forest.
Richard has a strong background in both primary and secondary research. Prior to joining Planning Solutions, he worked as a User Researcher and Usability Analyst at Razorfish, one of the UK’s leading digital consultancies and BMP DDB Needham, the multi-national advertising agency.
He also writes a successful blog on Research Methods. Richard has a master’s degree in the sociology and anthropology of travel and tourism.
Steve Jones, Managing Director Venture Xtreme
Steve is the UK’s leading extreme sports expert and Managing Director of Venture Xtreme™. He has 30 years experience in the world of adventure sport in senior roles from instructing, to manufacturing and project management. Steve created the UK’s biggest company manufacturing climbing walls, caves, ice walls and other extreme sports equipment. He has directly managed numerous extreme sports projects including the installation of many of the biggest adventure sports facilities in the world.
Venture Xtreme™ is an extreme sports brand responsible for the design, build and operation of extreme sports projects and he is currently working on projects in London, South Yorkshire, Manchester, Shanghai and Bremen, worth over £400m. Steve also acts as a consultant in extreme sports, helping and advising other companies that want to include extreme sports in their facilities mix in the UK and internationally. Steve continues to be active in a wide range of extreme sports including sailing, diving, climbing, canyoning and caving. He has made three TV documentaries recording his adventures in every corner of the planet. Steve has an enviable track record of successfully leading teams both on international expeditions and in business.