The following examples typify the sort of work that ROTHWELL. delivers. The company is particularly skilled at assembling and managing multi-disciplinary teams for bespoke projects.


With input from business and academia Sandra has been at the forefront of embedding a ‘Smart Specialisation’ approach to economic growth and the use of innovation and new business development. This has influenced funding programmes such as the EU Growth Programme (Research, Development and Innovation Framework) as well as supporting the articulation of an economic ambition of place to a wider audience, for example through international networks such as the EU’s Smart Specialisation Platform, S3. Understanding the relationship between economic thinking, funding/investment and actual business impact is a real strength that Sandra brings to all her work. Turning thinking into reality and achieving quality economic growth is the backbone of ROTHWELL. Sandra’s work in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has achieved tangible outcomes working with others. For example, a smart specialisation approach to inward investment; tech-based business support on land and sea; and a forward thinking focus in skills development.

An example of the way that new tech can reinvigorate a place and create renewed focus and ambition for an existing business community, is Sandra’s work to lead the creation of a space sector in Cornwall. Sandra led the team which ultimately developed the Spaceport Cornwall programme – and the aligned Space Prospectus. She also led the early LEP response to the developing UK space sector programme and Upstream Space Science and Innovation Audit alongside the UK Space Agency. This work has culminated in real growth, such as the world’s first deep space communications initiative working entirely on a commercial basis.


Getting the message ‘out there’ is a key part of delivering successful economic impact. ROTHWELL. will be working with its associates to support place and industry brand development to underpin services around representation and advocacy. Our portfolio shows creativity and innovation in doing this – particularly in places and with sectors which don’t immediately ‘sell themselves’.


Sandra has driven a number of highly innovative approaches to investment utilising public and private finance to achieve most impact. She has worked with the voluntary sector in Wales on the early thinking of investment in social enterprise which ultimately led to the development of the Social Business Growth Fund; she also developed the first loan-based scheme for a LEP which delivered impressive targets including over a 1:6 ratio on investment leverage.

Sandra’s understanding of the impact of alternative investment models was central to achieving the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund with the British Business Bank. This was negotiated as part of the Cornwall Devolution Deal and within the EU Growth Programme.

ROTHWELL. has a significant portfolio of expertise in developing and overseeing public funding programmes, including those delivering grants in place-based regeneration programmes through to sector and R&D investment. They range from generic funding programmes including national and EU Programmes (Structural Funds and Framework Programmes ) as well as specific funding schemes, such as Enterprise Zones. Sandra builds on over 20 years of experience in negotiating and bidding for funds – and achieving implementation with real impact.


Never one to follow the crowd, Sandra has a track record of finding and negotiating innovative solutions to suit the requirements of particular places, industries and organisations – rather than trying to deliver a one size fits all solution. One of the by-products of working like this will be to enhance the profile of an organisation or place. Examples where Sandra has led specific initiatives or opportunities to work like this, include:

Cornwall Devolution Deal: In 2015, the first non-mayoral, non-combined authority Devolution Deal. The contents of the economic growth sections paved the way for a number of new initiatives in Cornwall, from skills to renewable energy.

Integrated Territorial Investment Strategy: Emanating from the Deal, a specific approach was agreed to allow for a joined-up way of investing European Development Funds and European Social Funds under one strategy.

“Thank you for your support… and everything we have done in Cornwall since 2009.  I often refer to it as my innovation test bed, and that responsivity and willingness to try new things has meant so much… That we’re well on our way to achieving our grand 2020 mission – 20,000 businesses supported, £50m raised and 10,000 new jobs for the UK economy – is in such a large part down to you being so visionary, open-minded and receptive and allowing us to trial them in wonderful Cornwall”.
MD of international business services company.