Working with Southern Horizons

Working with Southern Horizons


Our Approach

At Southern Horizons (UK) Ltd we work very closely with our clients to understand their needs and develop solutions that are robust, creative and engaging for stakeholders.  We also regularly collaborate with, and draw on the expertise of, a well-established network of external consultants to ensure that we have the right team for the task in hand.  Importantly we all share the values of honesty and integrity that are recognised and appreciated by our clients.

Areas of Expertise

As a Senior Manager at Plymouth University our Director, Rebekah Southern, held an externally facing role that supported the wider economic development landscape.  Her role frequently involved connecting research, expertise, skills and resources with businesses and other key stakeholders and she has continued to develop these areas of work in her own business, which specialises in:


Economic Development

  • Project managed the Plymouth and Devon Freeport business case and provided ongoing mobilisation support
  • Provided a summative assessment of the Isles of Scilly Technical Assistance Team Project
  • Supported the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership with a range of strategic projects including a delivery plan for its Productivity Strategy, a Local Industrial Strategy and a Covid-19 response strategy (with Buckman Associates)
  • Supported Ash Futures on a report into the benefits of EU Structural Investment Funds for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly
  • Developed a Community Economic Plan for a Parish in Cornwall (with Buckman Associates)
  • Developed an Economic Plan for North Somerset (with Buckman Associates)
  • Supported Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks to develop a coherent programme of activities for growth (with Buckman Associates)
  • Conducted research to understand how the Construction Industry Training Board’s (CITB’s) ‘Client Based Approach’ (CBA) has been adopted and implemented across the Heart of the South West through the planning and/or procurement of construction projects (with Transform Research and Buckman Associates)
  • Provided ex-ante evaluation and critical friend commentary on the C&IOS EU SIF strategy (with Ash Futures)


Higher Education

  • Refreshed the West of England Employment and Skills Plan (with Buckman Associates)
  • Evaluated an Innovation in Higher Level Skills project (with Buckman Associates) on behalf of a consortium of delivery partners in Cornwall
  • Worked with the University of Plymouth on their Civic Mission agenda (with Buckman Associates)
  • Supported Plymouth Marjon University with evaluation and critical friend support for an Interreg project on food surplus (with Lorna Bell Research)
  • Provided an evidence base for the development of a Higher Education Strategy for Swindon and Wiltshire (with Buckman Associates)
  • Supported Somerset County Council with a Higher Education Market Appraisal (with Buckman Associates)
  • Completed a high-level market intelligence/scoping study on behalf of Birmingham City University
  • Evaluated eighteen International Open Educational Resources projects on behalf of the Higher Education Academy
  • Evaluated five Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRBs)/Subject Associations Using OER on behalf of the Higher Education Academy
  • Provided REF impact support to the Criminology team at Plymouth University


Employment and Skills

  • Provided critical friend and evaluation support for the Partnership for People and Place pilot in Bodmin, Cornwall
  • Evaluated the Motiv-8 South East Cornwall and West Cornwall 50+ employability support projects (with Buckman Associates and Lorna Bell Research)
  • Supported the University of Plymouth with an evaluation of the Lottery funded Building Better Opportunities project in Cornwall
  • Refreshed the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Employment and Skills Plan (with Buckman Associates)
  • Developed Plymouth’s Plan for Employment and Skills (with Transform Research)
  • Developed a Skills Training Plan for Sherford (with Transform Research)
  • Drafted an Employment and Skills Plan Method Statement for residential development in Plymouth (with Transform Research)
  • Mapped the Careers Education Information Advice and Guidance for the construction sector across the Heart of the South West (with Transform Research and Buckman Associates)
  • Mapped Labour Market Support for difficult-to-reach groups across the Heart of the South West (with Transform Research)
  • Evaluated the Plymouth and City Deal Wage Progression Pilot (with Transform Research)


Business Support

  • Provided summative assessments of numerous ERDF support projects across Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (both independently and in conjunction with Buckman Associates and Ash Futures)
  • Evaluated the Heart of the South West Growth Hub (with Buckman Associates, Lorna Bell Research and Marketing Means)
  • Evaluated the ESF Developing Skills for Business Project (with Buckman Associates)
  • Evaluated the Business Investment for Growth Project in Cornwall (with Buckman Associates)
  • Surveyed business in Cornwall to understand the appetite for grant funding post the EU referendum result (with Buckman Associates)
  • Evaluated the UKTI Globalisation (export) Project (with Transform Research)
  • Evaluated Cornwall College’s Business Innovation and Knowledge Exchange Project (with Buckman Associates)
  • Evaluated Cornwall College’s Grads for Growth Project (with Buckman Associates)
  • Conducted numerous employee engagement surveys with businesses (with Youbecome Ltd)


Social Enterprise

  • Supported Seetec Pluss with an assessment of market opportunities
  • Evaluated the Plymouth Social Enterprise Investment Fund (with Buckman Associates and the Fruit Tree)
  • Evaluated the National HEFCE/UnLtd Social Enterprise Support Programme (with Plymouth and Northampton universities)
  • Evaluated a Social Enterprise Leadership programme (with COSMIC)
  • Evaluated a multi-faceted Social Enterprise Engagement Programme run by the Futures Entrepreneurship Centre at the University of Plymouth
  • Project Managed the delivery of a Social Enterprise Support Programme on behalf of the University of Plymouth
  • Supported Devon County Council to secure EU funding for a Social Enterprise Support Programme