Jim has vast experience in turning an idea into a project, seeking funding,and then establishing a staff team and resources to deliver the intended outcomes. The experiences include: managing and completing a £½m. building project following the bankruptcy of the contractor half way through the construction period; negotiating with 11 grant giving bodies to successfully fund a £5m project; developing a new brand and level of service for the senior members of the Urdd(16+)and securing grant aid to develop and staff the project and many others from a few thousand pounds in cost to multi-million pound schemes.
Idea Generation - developing a vision
Jim is most proud of his involvement in realizing the scheme to build the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay.
The failure of the Zaha Hadid Opera House project necessitated the development of a new concept which would gain the support of the Millennium Commission and the new Welsh Assembly Government; the Urdd’s track record was known to both bodies who had funded improvements to the two main residential centres at Llangrannog and Glanllyn; however the idea of including a residential youth centre within the building which would house a new national Lyric Theatre – home to Welsh National Opera became a reality through Jim’s influence with all the players and resulted in a centre for artistic activity which is unique in the world and foremost for it’s ground breaking access for young people to perform, develop their talents, and access world class performances; the Urdd provides for the WMC a core which is youthful, national and particularly Welsh.
Raising £8m for a £10m capital programme over three sites and over £1m a year in revenue funding from grant aid and corporate sponsorship in recent years puts the Urdd in the premier league for fundraising in Wales. Jim’s period as Director for Development in Wales with Welsh National Opera in 1995-96 provided insight, training and experience in the world of professional fundraising which was built upon as Chief Executive of the Urdd from 1996 to 2004.
Jim learnt most of his Welsh in the late 1970’s whilst studying at Aberystwyth and in his first job with the Urdd; now fluent Jim provides a fully bilingual service and works happily in English,Welsh or bilingually.
Workshops,courses, and training sessions in groups or individually for senior management teams, staff ,volunteers, trustees or members is a well established part of the portfolio- event management, risk-assessment, staff development,planning for growth, managing a crisis- Jim has developed organisations through a multitude of experiences and is sympathetic to the difficulties and challenges;whilst at Llangrannog he lead the staff team to the achievement of the Investors in People standard and achieved a Manager of the Year Award and Management Team of the Year Award for the services sector from West Wales Tec in 1994.