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Case studies

How we make
a difference

View some of our recent case studies below

Cyber Essentials Process Evaluation


Late 2022, Pye Tait were commissioned by the former Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to undertake a process evaluation of the government-owned Cyber Essentials (CE) scheme. This was supplemented by a feasibility study for a subsequent impact evaluation. The findings aimed to discover whether the current implementation approach was working, and the scheme is meeting its objectives.

CE was developed to help organisations of all sizes defend against the most common cyber threats. It provides reassurance to organisations and their customers that systems are secure from basic cyber-attacks.

Our evaluation methodology comprised the following main components:


  • Rapid desk research to understand relevant policy, developments and existing research and evaluation findings

  • Qualitative interviews with 12 strategic stakeholders closely involved with the CE scheme,

  • Online surveys of Certification Bodies, current CE users and lapsed CE users

  • A telephone survey of organisations that had never held CE


You can read the report here.


Driving business growth in the Midlands


On behalf of the University of Nottingham, EMB administered the N2 Business Growth Programme funded by the Regional Growth Fund and the European Regional Development Fund. The Programme was designed to combat a local lack of investment finance and drive growth by providing grant support of between £20,000 and £500,000 to businesses in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. The fund concentrated on key growth sectors for the locality, including life sciences, digital, clean technologies and advanced manufacturing.


For this scheme, EMB:


  • Devised the scheme criteria and overarching delivery plan, designed the appraisal and assessment processes and created the associated application and claim forms, ensuring compliance with RGF and ERDF regulations

  • Established and serviced a programme investment panel

  • Commissioned due diligence on beneficiaries with conditional offers.

  • Issued grant offers to successful applicants.

  • Received and checked claims from beneficiaries.

  • Provided regular MI reports on Programme progress


Nearly 200 applications were received and over £4,000,000 of funding awarded. To date 500 jobs have been created in beneficiary businesses.

Rapid grant mobilisation helps businesses stay afloat


EMB recently administered the Business Revival Grant Scheme on behalf of a number of local authorities based in the Midlands. The grant was funded by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities using Additional Restrictions Grant funding and was designed to help SMEs to recover from the impact of the Covid19 pandemic. The grant schemes were rapidly established and funding paid to businesses within a very short timescale, to combat the pressures businesses were facing at the time.


This project included:

  • Designing the application forms and guidance notes. 

  • Launching the schemes in conjunction with each of the local authorities.

  • Processing applications and issuing grant awards to successful applicants.

  • Processing claims and making payments to beneficiaries.

  • Reporting and sharing Management Information to demonstrate progress


More than 1,000 Applications were received of which 425 were approved securing £2,100,000 of invaluable funding.


Heritage sector reimbursement grants


EMB was appointed by the Department of Culture Media and Sport in May 2022 to administer the Listed Places of Worship (LPW) and Memorial Grant (MG) schemes. This contract involves the processing and payment of approximately 7,000 applications every year to recover VAT incurred on repair and maintenance projects for listed religious buildings.  The schemes have a combined annual budget of £42.5m.


Following contract award, a rapid mobilisation has delivered the following:


  • Configured our Diligenz grant management platform to align with the LPW and MG application process and SLAs

  • Created MI dashboards on our Diligenz grant management system for managers, as well as separate MI dashboards for DCMS staff, enabling real time monitoring by DCMS contract managers and audit staff.

  • Implemented online customer satisfaction monitoring with full visibility by staff and DCMS.

  • Developed a weekly approval and BACS payment process for DCMS and grant applicants.

  • Created a new, contemporary web presence aligned to GOV.UK


Since we took over In August 2022, we’ve processed 5,600 applications, paying out more than £18m with a customer satisfaction rating of 100%

Evaluating the effectiveness of the Lifetime Skills Guarantee


In 2021 Pye Tait Consulting, part of the EMB Group, was commissioned by the Department for Education to undertake an evaluation of the Level 3 Free Courses for Jobs offer, part of the Lifetime Skills Guarantee. The Guarantee aims to transform the skills system so everyone, no matter where they live or their background, can gain the skills they need to progress in work.


The objective at the outset of the research was to undertake analysis of provision, uptake, learner experience and process to:

  • identify the nature and extent of impact using quantitative and qualitative metrics,

  • explore implementation effectiveness,

  • draw on best practice/lessons learned to determine what could be improved in the future.


The evaluation ran from September 2021 to May 2022 and comprised  quantitative surveys of learners and providers with follow up qualitative research which probed survey findings.  In addition, analysis of Individualised Learner Record data was undertaken. This allowed a comparison to be made between a baseline of 2018/19 data before the offer was introduced and the early days of the offer from April to November 2021.  You can read the report here.


Supporting businesses to implement digital technologies


As part of our work for Business Lincolnshire, we implemented a grant scheme funded by the European Development Fund to support business investment in digital technologies. 


Our team of local business advisers were key to the effectiveness of the fund.  They encouraged businesses from sectors ranging from agri -tech to hospitality to match fund grant applications and invest in technologies such as building management systems technologies, 3D printing and holographic devices.


An independent evaluation found that the grant has been successful in stimulating investment by SMEs that would not otherwise take place without grant support, supporting business growth and creating new jobs.

Learn more about EMB Group

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