We challenge

People come to us with brilliant ideas and we work together to clarify and rigorously test them so that they can be achieved and delivered confidently with the support of key stakeholders.

We test the feasibility of new plans and projects which may include new activities, organisational structures and new or redeveloped buildings. We bring independent and robust evidence and insight to the table to challenge – or corroborate – assumptions.

Our practice includes a robust process of identifying and appraising alternative options which will meet specific objectives.


Recently completed assignments include those where market appraisals, consultation, modelling and benchmarking against comparators have been analysed to support a robust assessment of options to inform development including:

  • Bridgewater Hall, Manchester’s principal international concert hall. The existing commercial operating contract will end in 2024 and the charitable company responsible for overseeing the venue, Manchester Concert Hall Limited, engaged BK to support the development of the future vision and priorities for the Hall, as well as an appraisal of options for the business model. MCHL’s roles and responsibilities are to set the vision and priorities for the Bridgewater Hall; to contract a venue operator; to oversee and monitor the operating contract requirements, including the Learning and Engagement programme; to represent the interests of the Bridgewater Hall and to ensure that the future business model for the Bridgewater Hall is sustainable. BK undertook extensive research, consultation and options analysis in support of these obligations
  • Derby Hippodrome, where we found a new use for this Theatre at Risk as a music venue/club which is rooted in the Derby independent creative sector and which will complement established organisations. We designed a business model for post-pandemic times which included sustained community and voluntary involvement along with adaptive and focussed enterprise. This involved challenging assumptions that the best use for the Hippodrome would be in its original form as a receiving theatre
  • Stockton Globe, where we worked with Stockton Council to identify and assess options, firstly for the future viable use of this venue and then to assess options for commercial and other operators. We also undertook a viability appraisal for the Globe, a major regeneration project contributing to economic and social regeneration and a successful bid under the Heritage Enterprise Scheme


Other options appraisals and viability studies include management and governance options for the Tramway, and for Sheffield Contemporary Arts Forum and Abandon Normal Devices; for Stockton Borough Council we explored the viability of alternative capital and management options for the Globe; and for Tunbridge Wells Theatre we tested the demand for, and feasibility of, a new 1200 seat lyric theatre. During the pandemic we supported many organisations with strategic and business planning including the ICA, Smock Alley Theatre and the Mother Tongues Festival.

Whilst the Lottery was supporting major capital projects, we developed plans for the Roundhouse, Hampstead Theatre, Unicorn Theatre, Oval House, Worthing Dome Cinema, Dance City, Artsadmin at Toynbee Studios, Salisbury Playhouse, Northern Stage, as well as supporting international capital projects in Ireland and Istanbul.