Overcoming funding challenges to provide for the SEN community
Advisory services, Construction

Refurbishing 3 SEN schools in Liverpool

Partner: Liverpool City Council
Project value: £19m total project value
Completion: September 2023

Clear Futures and Liverpool Council have worked in partnership to refurbish SEN schools at pace to provide modern learning spaces for young people with special educational needs.

Challenge: maintaining essential SEN education

In 2023, it was identified that Liverpool’s SEN schools were in urgent need of refurbishment, with a shortfall in places available in the City. The Council faced a significant funding challenge if education for these children couldn’t be provided within the city by September 2023.

Fast tracking delivery of SEN schools for 2023

Clear Futures worked with the council’s education team to prioritise immediate needs and fast track the delivery of three SEN education projects.

At Millstead School, Clear Futures’ Tier 1 supply chain partner, Seddon Construction was quickly appointed, thanks to the Clear Futures strategic partnership that was already in place, to cost-effectively design and install temporary modular units to accommodate 40 extra pupils in September 2023, while fully redeveloping an existing mothballed building for a future intake of 72 pupils.

Image of interior of refurbished special educational needs school in Liverpool with toys and play items
SEN school places
SEN schools refurbished

Outcome: major funding risk avoided

Delivering these three key projects means that SEN education and care is provided for children close to their homes, once phase 2 is complete.

As a result, we have mitigated a potential risk of financial penalties and cost for the travel, specialist teachers and carers and other expenses to provide education for these children outside of the city boundaries, that would have been Liverpool City Council’s responsibility.

Long-term social impact

Clear Futures develops partnerships with purpose, focusing on long-term outcomes that drive real change in a community. As part of this, we have made a commitment to provide a one-to-one mentoring programme to change the lives of teenage girls who need support.

In addition, we provided targeted activities and support in the local area, with a focus on developing the careers of young people in Liverpool, including:

266 hours
98 weeks

Our strategic partnership with Liverpool

Clear Futures and Liverpool City Council began working together to deliver education projects at pace to provide modern learning spaces for local young people. As our partnership develops, we will explore opportunities to drive net zero action and provide strategic support to the Council to support local key priorities.

Learn more about our partnership
Liverpool City Council logo in partnership with Clear Futures
Grow-on space for NETPark’s science and tech entrepreneurs.
Advisory services, Commercial, Construction

Strategic Delivery for Durham’s NETPark Phase 3

Partner: Durham County Council

North East Technology Park (NETPark) is one of the UK’s top science, engineering and technology parks, supporting innovative and potentially high-growth STEM businesses on their journey from concept to commercialisation.

Current facilities are world-class and include two catapult centres and three national innovation centres. The Phase 3 development provides 433,800 sq ft of new space which is geared at existing and prospective tenants on the cusp of scaling up their operations.

Durham County Council appointed Clear Futures as a strategic delivery partner to provide the expertise and additional resource needed to drive the project forward. Acting as project manager for the scheme, we have turned the initial project strategy into a solid and successful business case for Business Durham and Durham County Council and will continue to support them through delivery. 

Building occupant needs into the masterplan

Early in the project, we explored ways to build on the success of existing facilities on the science park, looking at everything from wellbeing and connectivity to delivery and distribution facilities. We engaged with tenants to hear first-hand their views on NETPark as a location for their business, their growth plans and need for space, and how that space should be configured. Creating a sustainable design within a healthy, sustainable environment was a clear priority.

Image by Ryder Architecture

The masterplan, designed by Ryder Architects, creates a holistic campus environment defined by high-quality, distinctive and flexible buildings set in a pedestrian-friendly parkland environment. Unit sizes vary and sit alongside a hub building, ancillary facilities, landscaping, sustainable drainage systems and parking.

During design development, we worked with the council’s carbon and sustainability team to ensure the design proposals factor in net zero and BREEAM building standard ambitions and policy, with the expertise of T&T Carbon team.

By creating the right environment for growth businesses at NETPark, the Phase 3 development will deliver highly-skilled employment opportunities and attract inward investment to the area.

Getting the facts right to inform local plans.
Advisory services

Strategic support for Local Plans in Lewes and Eastbourne

Partner: Eastbourne and Lewes Councils

Lewes and Eastbourne Councils jointly commissioned Clear Futures in 2022 to support their plan-making process, which aims to meet the long-term development needs of residents and to deliver much needed new housing (including affordable housing), economic uses, infrastructure and renewable energy, in the right places, while protecting and enhancing sensitive landscapes and biodiversity.

Areas of expertise include: housing and development needs, housing and land supply, environment and sustainability, landscape and more.

technical studies

Clear Futures, through its Joint Venture Partner AECOM, has provided Local Plan support to the Councils through both technical experts and additional resources. 

The Clear Futures’ expert technical team has enabled the Councils to accelerate and streamline plan-making, and has enabled efficient procurement of multi-disciplinary technical studies from one source, which could then been delivered at speed. 

The evidence has been used in a total of 22 technical studies, to inform and underpin the respective draft local plan policies in the following areas.

  • Housing and development needs: Local Housing Needs Assessment, Economic Needs Assessments and Retail Needs Assessment, Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) Study, and Newhaven Freight Study.
  • Housing land and supply: Housing Land Availability Assessment, Viability Assessment.
  • Environment and sustainability: Strategic Flood Risk Assessment, Water Cycle Study, Sustainability Assessment, Biodiversity and Geodiversity Assessment, Habitats Regulation Assessment, Climate adaptation and mitigation study, Building Energy Performance Study.
  • Landscape: Landscape Character and Sensitivity Assessments, Townscape and Tall Buildings Impact Study, Site-specific Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment.

Clear Futures also provided planning consultants to augment the Councils’ planning team during busy periods to support the plan-making process, working collaboratively alongside officers at the Councils on Local Plan preparation tasks.  This includes providing specialist digital planning and GIS support, allowing the Council to digital capture and present spatial options.

Clear Futures can provide all types of planning services including planning and housing policy, strategic planning, development management, regeneration and digital planning.

Building a prosperous future for Bolton through transformative town centre regeneration.
Advisory services, Regeneration

How we boosted Bolton’s levelling up ambitions

Partner: Bolton Council

Bolton, like many other towns across the UK, continues to face tough challenges. Despite this, the town remains resilient in its determination to drive positive change and create new opportunities for communities.

Bolton Council has ambitions to boost the town centre’s role as a key player in the Greater Manchester economy. This is coupled with a wider aspiration to attract more high-growth companies that will create the additional jobs, knowledge, skills and technology needed to compete in a global economy.


In the year that followed central government’s launch of the £3.6 billion Towns Fund, the country faced a whole new set of challenges that few people could have predicted. Towns and their communities were at the forefront of the national response to COVID-19, showing great adaptability and resilience in the fight against the pandemic.

Central government wanted to kick-start the economy quickly, providing financial support through the Towns Fund. Such investment meant submitting a robust proposal, including: resilient town centre investment plans, heads of terms documents, detailed project business cases, outline designs, commercial investment models and benefits realisation plans.

Working in strategic partnership, Clear Futures brings the additional capabilities Bolton Council needs to secure funding and deliver schemes that underpin the town’s regeneration ambitions.

Contact Clear Futures for more on strategic partnerships.

Project outcomes

investment from the Towns Fund
regeneration projects supported


Given the time constraints and resource challenge due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19, few local authorities had the capabilities to develop a strong proposal without some external support.

Through our strategic partnership, Bolton Council turned to Clear Futures. Working with the council’s regeneration team, we quickly and efficiently evaluated their needs, and engaged several specialist consultants to provide project management and quantity surveying expertise. We also boosted the capacity of the council’s team, bringing additional Clear Futures resource to drive through the complex programme and submit a strong and timely proposal to central government.


Out of the 101 towns invited to submit proposals for part of the £3.6 billion Towns Fund, only 43 were successful – including Bolton who secured £22.9 million to invest in four key town centre regeneration schemes.

The success of the proposal results from the council and its partners engaging and collaborating with residents, MPs and private and public sector partners, and reinforces a collective ambition and commitment to regenerating Bolton’s town centre.

More from our partnership with Bolton Council

Clear Futures and Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council have been working in partnership since 2019 to boost the town centre’s role as a key player in the Greater Manchester economy.

See more about our partnership
A flagship restaurant for a prime seafront location
Advisory services, Construction

The Wish Tower Restaurant, Eastbourne

Partner: Eastbourne & Lewes Councils
Project value: £2.25m

The Wish Tower Restaurant replaces a former café and adjoining sun lounge on the seafront near Eastbourne Pier. Built in the early 1960s, the café had been a popular visitor attraction. However, through poor upkeep and its coastal environment, the structure fell into disrepair and was no longer fit for purpose.

The site needed a more sustainable building, and one which allowed the adjacent 19th century Wish Tower monument to remain the dominant structure.

In December 2017, and following insufficient progress from the council’s previous partner, Clear Futures was asked to take on the project development and delivery of a new seafront restaurant with an affordability cap of £2.25m. We conducted a due diligence review of the scope definition, design work, sufficiency of the cost analysis and identification of project risks and viable solutions. This allowed us to confirm the project parameters, and give the council confidence of a design and construction programme aligned to their timeframe and budget.

Following a rigorous supply chain selection process, we appointed a local Tier 1 supply chain construction partner who guaranteed to maximise use of local SME subcontractors and suppliers to deliver the project.

Wish Tower restaurant images courtesy of Sunninghill Construction Co Ltd

Completed in 2019, the new waterfront eatery is operated by Bistro Pierre. Designed with respect for the local heritage, the dramatic roof form makes a bold statement, while extensive use of glass provides transparency and spectacular seafront views. Complete with external decking areas, the development marks a fantastic improvement to the highly visible public realm and a reason in itself to visit Eastbourne.

Wish Tower restaurant images courtesy of Sunninghill Construction Co Ltd

The new build Wish Tower Restaurant is a great example of Eastbourne Borough Council using its land to create a visitor destination, and initiate employment opportunities and local economic activity in a sustainable way.