Mr Timothy Sydenham

Mr Timothy Sydenham

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)

Tim heads up the Planning & Analytics Office at the University of Plymouth. 

The Planning & Analytics Office enables the University to formulate, implement and evaluate its strategy by informing strategic decisions, advising on strategic actions, and enabling strategic planning and change.

Its remit covers: strategic planning; institutional research; data analytics and business intelligence; market, competitor and applicant/student insight; student number planning; statutory returns; league tables, rankings and performance against institutional KPIs; corporate risk management; sector policy and the external environment; governance; transformation and strategic projects.


Tim has worked in higher education, government and the private sector in a variety of leadership, strategy, data and research roles. He specialises in helping (quasi-)public sector organisations adapt to increasingly marketised environments. He has led cities and regions through strategy development exercises, set up major public-private investment programmes, and co-designed the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games economic programmes. He led the Strategy and Research consulting arm of a FTSE100 company, and began his career in policy and project management roles. He is experienced in PRINCE2 project management, MSP programme management, and 5 CASE MODEL business case development. 

Tim is currently writing up a PhD thesis on the adaptive capacity of elite actors in local governance.

University of Plymouth

PhD in Human Geography, ongoing

University of Sussex
BA (First Class Honours) in English, 1999

MSP - programme management, 2014

5 CASE MODEL - business case development, 2009

PRINCE2 - project management, 2003

Research interests

Tim is currently studying part-time for a PhD in Human Geography. His research is in the adaptive capacity of elite actors in local governance, and uses the local economic development infrastructure as a case study. His research is supervised by Professor Ian Bailey and Professor Geoff Wilson.

Grants & contracts

Before joining the University, Tim won/oversaw and/or advised on over £10m research and consultancy projects, as a freelance consultant and for organisations including Experian, Oxford Economics and SQW. These included:


• Army, 2012 Games: implications for Army recruitment and retention
• Dept for Business Innovation & Skills/SQW, Expert advisor on the 2012 Games skills legacy
• Dept for Culture Media & Sport, Expert peer reviewer of 2012 Games economic legacy research
• Greater London Authority/SQW, Expert advisor on the Olympic employment and skills evaluation
• Learning & Skills Council, 2012 Games: skills impact in South West England
• LOCOG, Author of the 'implications of the recession for the 2012 Games' Sydenham Report
• London Development Agency, Advisor on the 2012 Games employment and skills programme
• London Development Agency, Employment & Skills for the 2012 Games 
• London Development Agency, Evaluation Plan for the 2012 Games 
• NWDA, Advisor on the North West 2012 Games employment and skills strategy
• Olympic Host Boroughs, Advisor on the 2012 Games employment and skills business plan


• Canterbury City Council, Canterbury Futures Study
• DTI, Attracting Talent (Migration Study)
• East Kent Local Strategic Partnership, East Kent Futures Study
• Government Skills, The future of public sector working 
• Hart District Council, Hart Housing Market Assessment
• Herts County Council/Oxford Economics, Hertfordshire Low Carbon Economy Strategy
• Horsham District Council, Visioning Horsham
• Kingdom of Bahrain, Bahrain Spatial Plan
• Learning & Skills Council, Thames Gateway Skills Audit
• Learning & Skills Council, Thames Gateway Construction Skills Directory
• Learning & Skills Council, Strategic review of the Skills and Education Network
• London Skills & Employment Board, International best practice case studies 
• North West Development Agency, Northwest England Futures Study
• Nottingham City Council, Nottingham Science City Review
• Scottish Enterprise, Edinburgh City-Region Economic Audit
• South East Development Agency, Diamonds for Investment and Growth
• South West Regional Development Agency, Transport, Connectivity and the Economy
• Test Valley Borough Council, Test Valley Long-Term Economic Strategy
• Welsh Government, Options appraisal of the post-16 learning network in Wales
• Welsh Government, Financial Services Sector Strategy
• Westminster City Council, Westminster’s housing markets