Chris Cain UHI - Copy

Chris Cain – Summary Profile

Former senior Government policy advisor, major project Director and award-winning transport professional of 25 years standing with an established track record of finding innovative solutions to complex business, policy and service challenges. Chris’s practical experience of managing large teams undertaking high-profile endeavours is underpinned by sound analytical and business planning skills, a facility for lateral thinking and strategic insight, and a flair for problem-solving drawing on knowledge gained in central and local Government and in the private sector. This is combined with well-defined leadership qualities, strong influencing skills, a facility for managing large and controversial stakeholder exercises, developing sound working relationships with politicians at all levels based on mutual trust and respect and excellent oral and written presentation skills – including briefing all forms of media.

Recognised as director of award-winning construction and operational enhancement projects and for commercial targets achieved and though leadership provided. Successfully developed and executed policy initiatives that have captured material benefits for both the public and private sectors. Lead role in developing boutique aviation, travel and tourism consultancy from scratch to £250k turnover, with 5 employees, an international/blue chip client portfolio and 85% repeat business in 3 years.

Employment and Education

2010-Present:         ASAP and Northpoint Consultancies

Since September 2010 have worked as an independent strategy/policy consultant offering analytical, commercial, strategy and political advice to a range of UK and international clients in both public and private sector clients on transport, tourism and economic development projects:

2006-2010:              Project Director Newquay Airport – Cornwall Council

Senior post (Head of Department equivalent), with over-arching financial and programme responsibility for the physical, operational and commercial development of Newquay Cornwall Airport, including the £55m ‘on-line’ transition from military to civil operation (something not attempted before in the UK or EU) and development of the Airport’s commercial activity in parallel. Stewardship of this uniquely complicated and challenging ‘transformational’ project, the undertaken by the County Council for ten years, was recognised by receipt of The ERA European Regional Airport of the Year (2008/09) and an Institute of Civil Engineers Commendation Award in 2009

2009-2010:              Chairman – Forum for Regional Airports in Europe

Appointed Chairman of the European Regional Airports Association (FARE) in January 2009 based on track record at Newquay and experience of negotiating successfully with the EU.

1997-2006:              Regional Airports Manager – Airports Policy Division, Dept for Transport

An 8-year tenure in Airports Policy Division in Department for Transport focused on airport policy/planning across the UK, encompassing: strategic forecasting and policy development; leadership and delivery of major projects/initiatives; development of financial and economic cases for investment/state aid; tourism and environmental impact assessments; specialist lead on freight, technological innovation and ground transport access.

1995-1997:              River Crossings Manager – Government Office for London

Seconded in 1995 as Programme Manager for a programme of studies into new crossings in East London, requiring extensive interaction with the Dartford Crossing Unit in DfT and senior management in the London Docklands Development Corporation, and Client Manager for Woolwich Ferry operation

1993-1995:              Project Manager – Channel Tunnel Rail Link Bill Team, DETR

Joined DETR in 1993 as Fast Stream Direct Entrant following a national competition. Assigned as a Project Manager in the Hybrid Bill Team for Channel Tunnel Rail Link Project.

1988-1993:             Senior Consultant and Regional Office Manager with Halcrow and Entec respectively

Projects included leading a wide variety of urban and rural planning work encompassing development plans, planning briefs, planning and inquiries, major urban regeneration and transport projects, economic development and tourism studies, environmental impact and sustainability assessments, and waste management and recycling plans for private and public sector clients in Scotland and North of England.

1986-1988:             Planning Assistant – South Tyneside Council

Post university in 1986, initially employed as a Planning Assistant in the Urban Fringe Area Team, tasked with a substantive planning application case work, preparation of development briefs, drafting sections of the local plan and preparation of the Tyne and Wear Wildlife Strategy

1984-1986:              M Phil in Town Planning – Newcastle University

Thesis on the Planning and Development of Science and Technology Parks in the UK gained distinction.

1981-1984:              BA Hons in Geography – Pembroke College, Oxford University 

Won numerous academic awards while at Oxford, including a Scholarship and three College prizes from Pembroke College (1983-84) and the University Geography Prize (1984) for dissertation on “The Changing Patterns of Hop Growing in Kent in C20th”.

Member of the following Professional Bodies:

  • Air Transport Research Society
  • Royal Town Planning Institute
  • Institute of Economic Development
  • Regional Studies Association

Relevant Skills and Experience

  • Strategic economic, regulatory and policy formulation and advice both for transport providers, city administrations and regional/national Governments.
  • Scoping, defining, securing funding approval for and managing small and large-scale capital investment and operational/management change programmes.
  • Management of large multi-disciplinary teams of in-house and externally resourced personnel including negotiating and overseeing outsourced contracts.
  • Briefing/advising Secretaries of State, Govt Ministers, Parliamentary Committees, Council Leaders, Cabinets & Committees, Boards/CEOs of major companies/institutions.
  • Management of large capital and revenue budgets. Personal delegations, accountable officer for key items/sections of budget; reporting to Audit and Scrutiny Committees
  • Establishing, leadership, optimising performance of and winding down of major teams
  • Asset management: maintenance CAPEX, ROCE and delivery against service standards
  • Government/industry affairs encompassing media/stakeholder management (including large-scale public and targeted professional consultations and leading trade association)
  • Negotiating regulatory, environmental, land use planning and state aid approvals.
  • Investment appraisals, business planning and due diligence for major acquisitions.
  • Demand forecasting, financial modelling and master planning.
  • Commercial analysis, strategy, execution and risk management.
  • Environmental impact assessment and formulation of environmental/waste strategies.
  • Ground transportation planning and project delivery; economic impact assessment.
  • Brand development, market research, marketing/PR and CSR strategies

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