Teesside Sports Development Consultant

Sports & Leisure

Feasability Studies, Event Strategy, Sports Tourism

and much more...

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Teesside Technology Consultant


Sector Mapping, Commercialisation, Market Research

and much more...

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Social Enterprise Consultancy

Social Enterprise

Start Up, Policy Development, Operational Planning

and much more...

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Welcome to Gecko Ltd.

Gecko Ltd are based in the North East of England and provide specialist economic development consultancy in the areas of Sports & Leisure, Technology and Social Enterprise primarily to the public sector.

About Gecko

After working as a consultant since 1999, Dr. Sara McIntyre set up Gecko Ltd in 2007 to provide specialist economic development consultancy in the areas of:

  • Sport and Leisure
  • Technology
  • Social Enterprise

Most of her work is with public sector clients: developing strategies; monitoring and evaluating programmes; conducting feasibility studies; carrying out sector-specific mapping or development studies.

She also works with individual organisations developing business improvement plans and helping social enterprises to set-up and become established.

She works extensively with a selected group of partner companies to access specialist expertise to deliver the highest possible standards to clients on-time and on-budget. The aim is always to provide practical advice based on a sound understanding of the relevant issues, developed through robust quantitative and qualitative research..

Sports & Leisure

Sport and Leisure are the primary business areas of Gecko Ltd and include:

Feasibility Studies

Examples of feasibility studies undertaken for proposed investments in events or facilities:

  • An indoor cricket centre of excellence (with DTP and SIRC)
  • Phase 2 improvements at Durham County Cricket Club’s Riverside Ground (led by SIRC)
  • Hosting the Special Olympics GB 2013 (with DTP)
  • Multi-activity centre of excellence in outdoor sports (with DTP)*
  • Upgrading Tees Whitewater Course (with DTP and SIRC)*

Major Events

Projects undertaken include:

  • Major Events Strategy for the North East of England (with DTP and MLS)*
  • Potential for the Tees Valley to host sporting events

Sport Tourism

Developing the economic potential of Sports Tourism in the East Midlands. This project included an extensive study, incorporating a number of economic impact studies, and led to a national conference and subsequent talks to Tourism Management Institute (with DTP)*

Economic Impact Studies

  • Burghley Horse Trials
  • British Open Squash
  • Nottingham Open Tennis
  • Golf in the East Midlands
  • Nottingham Cup (Ice Skating)

All the above economic impact studies were carried out in partnership with CogentSI

Delivering wider economic and social benefits

Many of the strategies and feasibility studies developed include sections on how to use sport to derive wider social and/or economic benefits. In addition we have specifically looked at this area on a number of occasions:

  • Development of a directory of specialist suppliers to major sports events and action plan to support sector growth (with Sandgrown Consultancy, PAWA Consulting and TBR)
  • The role of sport in tackling social exclusion*
  • Evaluation of Salford Council’s project to help ex-offenders into work and the community through sport and leisure*
  • Evaluation of the Sporting Communities Programme*

Business Planning / Improvement

  • Financial performance improvement strategy and action plan for Newham Grange Country Farm, Middlesbrough (with Sandgrown Consultancy)
  • Business and marketing plan for a sporting talent ID and health monitoring programme for Northumbria University (with PAWA Consulting)
  • Review of the Business Model and business improvement opportunities at Nature’s World, Middlesbrough (with DTP)
  • Evaluation of cultural sector skills in the North East (with DTP)

Sector Mapping Studies

  • Sports Social Enterprises in the East Midlands (with DTP)*
  • Preliminary mapping of the sports-related businesses in the North West

* Projects undertaken whilst I was co-owner of PAWA Consulting prior to setting up Gecko Ltd.

Sport & Leisure Economic Development

Strategic Partners


Technology Sector Mapping & Market Research

My background is in science and technology. I have a BSc in chemistry from Bath University and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Cambridge University. After starting work as a pharmaceutical research chemist at Glaxo I moved into sales and commercial management with ICI.

I retain my interest in supporting the technology industries and in the commercialisation of science through:

  • Sector Mapping Studies
  • Market Research
  • Commercialisation of new technology)

Examples of Projects Include:

  • Sectoral mapping and support requirements for the York bioscience and environmental clusters (led by Cion Consulting)
  • Mapping the North West chemical industry (with TBR and PHS Consulting)*
  • Evaluation of future scenarios for the Tees Valley speciality chemicals and environmental industries (led by TERU)
  • Market potential for terahertz technology*
  • Evaluation of market potential to select projects for investment for TeraNova, an EU Framework VI project (led by Merops Consulting)*
  • Commercialisation pathways for a novel nanoscale technology for Leeds University
  • Business planning, IP protection and obtained grant funding for a new invention in the home improvement market

* Projects undertaken whilst I was co-owner of PAWA Consulting prior to setting up Gecko Ltd.

Technology Sector Mapping & Market Research

Our Clients


Social Enterprise

Social Enterprise Development & Business Planning

I became interested in the potential of social enterprises through a study of the role they play in sport in the East Midlands. At the time this was ground-breaking research and the findings contributed to Sport England’s “Sport Playing its Part” publication.

Since then my interest and involvement in social enterprises has continued and I have advised and guided a number of social enterprises through start-up, policy development, operational and business planning.

These include:

  • Middlesbrough Foster Carer’s Association
  • Holistic Cancer Care Centre at James Cook Hospital
  • ECO Sustainability
  • Tees Whitewater Course

I have also delivered courses on social enterprise for the Tees Valley Professional Services Group.

* Projects undertaken whilst I was co-owner of PAWA Consulting prior to setting up Gecko Ltd.

Social Enterprise Policy Development

get in touch

Whatever your questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us by telephone, email or using the form below and we'll be in touch as soon as possible.


Gecko Ltd have been providing strategic advice and specialist economic development consultancy to a wide range of clients for over 10 years, our aim is to utilise the knowledge gained and leverage the experience of our partners to deliver projects on budget and on time.

Clients, Approach and Methodology

We have worked predominantly with public sector bodies including local authorities and local enterprise partnerships to deliver projects that have included sector mapping studies, sector strategies, action plans, feasibility studies and developing funding bids. We also identify and implement initiatives to improve competitiveness and increase productivity. Our approach & experience allows us to provide practical advice based on a thorough understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing individual industry sectors and locations and deliver innovative solutions developed through robust quantitative and qualitative research.

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