Established in 2016, the Gainsborough Trinity Foundation is a registered charity formed to provide sports training and after-school activities to young people across the local area.
The charity was set up to supplement Gainsborough Trinity Football Club’s aim to better support the local community. In line with West Lindsey Council’s plans to facilitate developments throughout Gainsborough, the charity planned to support the town by purchasing and repurposing the Roses Sports Ground.
The project group were tasked with creating a business plan for this sports ground with suggested events and activities alongside proposed plans for the use and refurbishment of a 5G pitch at the site.
To approach this project, the researched the current strategies utilised by other organisations in the area, as well as those used by similar football foundations. The students conducted in-depth demographic research to better target their recommendations. Their detailed suggestions included a wide range of events, an opening night display with live music, fireworks, and food and drinks stalls alongside year-round charity events and details on how best they could renovate the clubhouse space.
Each student who took part in this project utilized their own skills to research areas that interested them and came together to produce a professional report that the foundation used to influence their development plans for the site going forward.
Many high streets across the UK have seen a decrease in visitors in recent years as a result of consumer shopping habits changing and an increase in online shopping.
As the unitary authority of the district of North Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire Council approached the Graduate Skills Builder project with the aim of investigating how Scunthorpe’s High Street could be regenerated to attract new businesses and visitors to the area.
The project team explored the potential causes for the decline of the high street in Scunthorpe and the rest of the UK as well as investigated the redevelopment plans of other town centres across the country.
The students were able to effectively conduct primary research to establish the wants and needs of the area and generate a comprehensive business report that included suggestions for updating their town centre. The recommendations included the rebranding of the high street with an increased focus on pedestrianisation and using the town’s heritage and culture as a method of attracting non-residential visitors. The group also included a section of the report dedicated to improving and creating new recreational activities aimed at families and younger visitors.
This project saw real benefits as a result of the students’ work as the report fed into a £10m government town centre funding plan which is currently in development and plans to implement many changes to the Scunthorpe high street, some of which were influenced by the student’s work.
Batemans Brewery started off as a modest brewery back when it was founded in the late 1800s, but it has since expanded in both scope and production and the family-run business now owns over 65 pubs across Lincolnshire.
Focusing on the ‘Human Touch’ that has directed the company for over 140 years, Batemans wanted the project to evaluate the issues and possible solutions with recruiting and employing successful, long-term landlords to run their pubs.
The students on this project delivered professional interviews with a selection of landlords from both Batemans’ pubs and pubs of other franchises in order to understand their experience with the recruitment process. The group found that most landlords tended to move into different areas of work as they got older and that a large proportion did not expect to become pub landlords before they took the opportunity. The team used their findings to influence a range of solutions to explain how Batemans could attract a wider range of landlords. These solutions included a detailed overview of the benefits of hiring internally, a mentor scheme to aid landlord development and uphold pub quality, and developing an improved holiday cover scheme to attract individuals to the industry who may typically be off put by the required commitment levels.
The team of students were given a free tour of the original brewery and were able to network with the Batemans team in an informal meeting in one of their pub’s event spaces.
Age UK is the county’s leading charity for older people. The Lincoln & South Lincolnshire branch is an independent charity working with the local community to support the elderly.
The charity has a team of over 200 dedicated staff and volunteers helping to deliver services for over 150,000 people in Lincoln and across the county.
For this project, the student team was tasked with creating a plan of renovation for the Park Street Centre in Lincoln. The team suggested changes that could be made to engage visitors and reinforce the Age UK brand which included various methods of attracting customers through the introduction of new services and activities.
The project team conducted extensive market research as well as a review of the current services offered by the charity in order to assess the changes that could be implemented. The group also explored how digitisation could be used within the centre to attract their older audience and improve fitness activities.
The students on this project benefitted from numerous visits to the charity and were able to speak first-hand to the clients, this gave them a real sense of scope for the project and displayed how their efforts would affect real members of a charity.
ACIS are a not-for-profit social housing organisation located in Lincolnshire and across the East Midlands.
A large proportion of ACIS’ primary customer base is over the age of 50, a lot of whom are senior citizens with growing support needs. The additional support required to care for these older clients is a driving factor for the development of new services for ACIS. As such, they set the challenge of investigating how they could reduce feelings of social isolation and improve safety and health by using technological innovation for the ageing population who live independently.
The projects team produced an extensive report highlighting key solutions which included the development of an integrated partnership with Age UK campaigns to increase the presence of events and activities and encourage engagement in local communal spaces. The report recognised the benefits of forming partnerships with Lincolnshire-based further and higher education institutions to support the delivery of communal space activities as well as providing IT training and social support.
The group’s suggestions were explored further by ACIS and the students were able to gain first-hand experience into what it would be like to work for a charity organisation as well as gaining experience in a completely different area to their degree subject.
Voted in the Sunday Times’ top 25 companies to work for in 2019, Lindum Group is a construction company with projects throughout the food, education, and manufacturing industries. The company employs many on-site workers and as such, requires frequent and effective training to reduce the chances of an accident occurring at work.
The student team was asked to explore ways in which this training could be improved. Their main challenge was to research a variety of online E-Learning and Virtual Learning tools that could be implemented into Lindum’s training programmes – specifically for their heavy machine operational roles. The group took the route of investigating the use, and effectiveness of, virtual reality as a method of training, in a similar manner to the training methods used by pilots. This involved emulating a real-world build scenario inside of a computer-operated replica of the machinery used in Lindum’s builds which would reduce the impact of error when training to use the equipment.
The project team researched the implementation of E-Learning and virtual reality in a variety of industries, comparing the benefits and drawbacks of both, as well as investigating how E-Learning can be implemented in a ‘blended learning’ approach. The students conducted primary research which found that attitudes to using virtual reality are generally positive and that it could provide a suitable replacement for ‘on the job’ training. It was identified that virtual reality could be a viable option for training despite its extensive costs for developing software.
The students taking part in this project were able to benefit from an extended guided tour of the Lindum site, which included meeting with members of the different departments and a few of the site managers. This gave them a sense of what it would be like to work in a variety of roles at Lindum.
Recognised for outstanding results and financial performance, Sills & Betteridge is a full-service law firm with bases throughout the East Midlands and a head office in the city of Lincoln.
The business understands that the market for the provision of legal services is changing and that innovation in services and delivery is a key factor for success. Based on this, Sills & Betteridge asked the student project team to investigate how utilising online operations would affect business capacity and competition while also suggesting what these online operations could be.
The group conducted a SWOT analysis of the current systems utilized by Sills & Betteridge with the main findings indicating that the business had a high level of brand loyalty though may struggle to attract new clients. A questionnaire was developed to conduct market research on consumer perceptions towards law firms and legal services, and an analysis of the firm’s website was conducted to assess any opportunities for improvement. Recommendations included streamlining the website, introducing a subscription model for middle-level customers, and the use of webinars to provide accessible legal support to those who may need it.
The business was very accommodating to the student project and the group were invited to meet at the business to share their thoughts and work through a solution with members of the Sills & Betteridge team.
Hosting upwards of 400,000 visitors a year, the Skegness Butlin’s Resort operates with the energy demands of a small town.
Initially developed to rely on traditional energy sources, Butlins asked the Graduate Skills Builder team to explore potential sustainable energy options for the next 5 years, looking at both renewable energy sources and changes to their current energy management system.
To complete this project, the student group split their focus of research into 2 key areas. Their first major focus was on the potential changes that could be made from a managerial perspective and the other key focus was looking at what could be done to enforce a sustainable message with resort guests.
On the managerial side, the group suggested various physical changes that could be made to the site to improve sustainability. These solutions ranged from the implementation of a key card system to all accommodation blocks that reduce the chances of energy waste, to the introduction of a new energy management system that keeps track of key areas of high-energy usage and pinpoints improvement areas more effectively.
From a visitor perspective, the group proposed the introduction of character mascots that enforced a greener message and challenged visitors’ behaviours to encourage sustainability from a younger age. The group suggested that these mascots could form part of an entertainment package, and not only would this be a fun and engaging way to teach younger guests about the environment, but it could also provide marketing and merchandising opportunities.
These sustainability solutions were positively received by the resort team who showed a genuine interest in the students’ work and resulted in a student-led demonstration of the new energy management system.
The Oncology department at Lincolnshire Hospital set a brief for a group of students to create a marketing plan with re-branding suggestions and improvements to their reception area.
The student team outlined the ways in which the department could promote a sense of confidence and personality to their operations using updated branding materials and subtle changes to their welcome area. The Oncology department wanted visitors to feel positive and relaxed when visiting the centre and these feelings were echoed in the suggestions the students put forward- focussing on colour theory and the psychological effect of certain designs and messages.
The group also suggested methods to reduce patient anxiety, one of which was to enable visitors to access a virtual tour of the department with an explanation of each step of their treatment so that those receiving the treatment could feel more at ease with the process. The students’ suggestions extended through to social media and how this could be used to engage and promote a welcoming and reassuring message.
The solutions were delivered in a presentation to a large group of nurses and doctors inside one of the oncology treatment rooms at the hospital. The suggestions were welcomed by all employees and sparked a discussion about how the department could implement the solutions moving forward. The project also gave the students the opportunity to see the inner workings of the department and to consider how this experience might impact their future career plans.
Pilgrim’s Pride is an international food production company recognised worldwide for its meat products.
The Pilgrim’s site in Ruskington, formally owned by Tulip, specialises in the production of pork-based goods and deli products making it the world’s largest producer of scotch eggs.
The Ruskington branch employs over 450 people and during the 12 months leading up to the project, their factory site had been experiencing sporadic flooding as a result of a nearby river. These floods often caused staff delays and meant that the purpose-built factory car park could not be used at many points throughout the year. The company asked the project team to investigate this issue to determine the origins of the localised flooding and suggest possible solutions to reduce the impact this could have on production.
To tackle this issue, the group began their research by exploring maps of the area and researching previous groundwater level data. The students also benefitted from various site visits so that they could gain first-hand experience of the issues they were facing. After carrying out extensive research, the group concluded the severity of the flooding could be reduced through the introduction of a dike around the car park. The students also provided an extensive report highlighting their detailed suggestions for car park resurface material and the benefits of planting additional trees around their site.
The project was well received by the business and the students were praised at a site managerial level for their dedication to providing professional solutions. The students were able to apply the concepts they had learned on their courses to support a real-life business scenario which helped improve their employability and expanded their options for work in the future.