About Valerie

vholdenATaedificocumbria.co.uk please replace AT with @

Valerie Holden LLB (Hons) FRSA

Valerie Holden

I hold a Bachelor of Laws LLB with Honours from UCLAN 1993. Post-graduate certificate in Environmental Audit with distinction 1993 from Business Training Cumbria. Two years with Groundwork UK delivering Project Development, Environmental Management and Community Empowerment. Ten years Regeneration Programme Manager. Invited to be a Fellow of The RSA in 2011, I was a successful Catalyst Funding applicant in 2012. Post-Graduate: Citizen Engagement - a Game-Changer for Development? 2014 with distinction; MOOC from The World Bank in partnership with London School of Economics, Oversees Development Institute, Participedia and CIVICUS.

Most recent qualification

Part of a busy regeneration team for ten years, bringing in funding and ensuring it was spent according to the terms of the funder. I monitored around one hundred and twenty community projects, supporting development, engagement, record-keeping, evaluation and reporting to various Boards, sitting on the Start-Up Business Grants Panel and community committees. I later took on delivery of the Heritage Lottery Townscape Heritage Initiative and managed that scheme towards completion. I co-developed The Arts Council's Sea Change project for Piel Island. As part of that I developed and piloted project-orientated environmental management for individual projects in my local authority, embedding this in policy to fast-track a system for managers waiting for an Environmental Policy to evolve.

My experience gives me a unique set of tools to add value to projects. I'm essentially a people person, passionate about finding creative ways to help people grasp opportunities to improve their lives and communities. Determined to find a career direction that gave opportunities to draw together law, aspects of building and conservation, management systems, governance and citizen engagement, getting involved with community development based on housing projects was a natural progression. Pulling together groups of individuals and community organisations to encourage capacity-building, facilitate informed decisions on the built environment and promote excellence in design details and environmental sustainability gets a high satisfaction rating from this polymath.

In 2012 I collaborated with a carer on an innovative project idea around care in the community, that led me to explore the concept of self-determining, micro-managed communities i.e. people delivering good, flexible care or other services on a self-managed basis under an umbrella supporting body.

Valerie's experience

Regeneration programme management, one of a team of four, managing projects totalling 42m over ten years, including EU's ERDF, Heritage Lottery Funding, Arts Council's SeaChange, North West Development Agency's SRB2, SRB 5, URF.

Conservation and restoration programme management - Townscape Heritage Initiative delivery; learning from architects and planners about streetscape and the difference between conservation, restoration and preservation. Learning to use project management software and liaise with builders on the ground, or roof. Learning how to build-in greener ways to deliver and to negotiate where this was not a requirement.

Heritage Skills in the community - hands on stonemasonry training, community awareness conferences, exhibitions, partnership working with local business and HFE College

Environmental Management Systems - training manual for AIG in environmental review ISO 14000. Climate Change Levy advice for Groundwork West Cumbria, general EMS support/signposting for 102 Cumbrian companies.

Environmental Audit - audits, water use survey at Kingmoor Business Park at Carlisle for Groundwork West Cumbria

Organisations Valerie has worked with

New Economics Foundation


GONW - Government Office North West

NWDA North West development Agency

Regional Development Agencies

Government Office

Asset Transfer Unit


Places Matter!

English Heritage

Heritage Lottery Fund

The Audit Commission

The Development Trusts Association

Arts Council

English Nature

The Wildlife Trusts

Local Authorities

Local Strategic Partnerships


"People are fully capable of managing their assets and meeting many of their social needs, too, given achievable goals and reliable support."

I have been involved in either development or monitoring of around one hundred and fifty ERDF, SRB, URF, NDF & HLF regeneration projects involving renovation, restoration and conservation, new build, brownfield land remediation, community enterprises, marketing campaigns, drugs treatment programmes totalling around £50m in value.

Aedifico Cumbria works with Andy Lloyd contact andyATcommunityhousingprojectdevelopment.uk please replace AT with @. Visit Andy's website www.communityhousingprojectdevelopment.uk Then give him a call M 0752 5635 692