John Regan Associates Limited is a specialist provider working with biodiversity driven sites (zoos, botanic gardens, parks, aquaria, etc.) and their partner universities.

We assist in strategic planning, concept development, partnership formation, public affairs and fund raising.

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What is an ‘Economic Impact Analysis’ and why does it matter?

What is an ‘Economic Impact Analysis’ and why does it matter?
This kind of study exercise is often pursued (or sooner or later required by a funder) where the institution, either private or public, requests finance from public funds.
An externally managed enquiry, based on objective and officially accepted methodology, seeks to measure the degree to which the relevant organisation delivers a net economic contribution to Society.
If a site ask for grant aid ultimately generated by tax (individual or corporate), obviously it is a good idea to show that the development proposed will actually increase the very tax supply that assisted it.  Work may embrace a spectrum of techniques to measure the direct, indirect and induced economic consequences of a site’s development at a given local, regional, national or cross-border level. This may be analysed through employment, tax revenue, income, or gross product (overall economic output).
For instance, when external grant aid is achieved for a zoo, botanic garden or zoo site, that financial stimulus moves through the local economy in successive waves: external contractors are paid;  employees of the contractor spend their wages at local shops, catering organisations, hotels and restaurants, garages, and so on; all of these local businesses purchase more supplies and employ more people.  The cascade effect of the orginal grant is worked out using ‘multipliers.’  These are standard accepted formulae derived from input-output analysis of an economic system calibrating the interaction of all major variables in an economic system.  The outputs of a given industry or organisation will be inputs for others, and so on.
No economic stimulus of course goes on forever in an infinite loop effect. This is due to ‘economic leakage’, money not recyled within a specifically defined economic system due to spending beyond geographic boundaries, tax flowing beyond the system, or savings. It is important to appreciate that the economic benefits measured are not solely (or mainly) those advantages ‘selfishly’ accruing to the grant aided site itself, but to the overall economy and to society as a whole.
An EIA can be developed for a site as it currently is, in which instance a counterfactual case may also sometimes be examined ( =  what would be the effect if the site didnot exist or not perform at a certain level).  Alternatively an EIA can be commissioned for a new proposed development.
Some studies go beyond a narrow economic assessment, measuring such social benefits as zoo volunteers (although these can of course be given a financial value), the zoo or aquarium’s contribution to education, to cooperation with scientific and academic institutions, to a sense of community cohesion, quality of life, positive and clear sense of place, cultural benefits, etc.  JRA’s  ‘The Manifesto for Zoos’ 2004   addresses some of these issues on a limited basis for some UK zoos, and can be download from this site.  EIAs are becoming commonplace in many countries, and studies have been done or are underway for EAZA, AZA, and BIAZA, and for many individual sites. Weblinks to some companies that carry out EIAs and whose websites provide more information include:

Please note JRA has no connection with these companies and has no responsibility for the information or services they provide. The links are offered purely to widen the client’s understanding of the concept and the options open.  Working with senior consultant Neil Kemsley (an economist formerly with the Bank of England) JRA has carried out a short form EIA for BIAZA.  JRA can discuss providing an EIA for your site at a fee level that is economic.

Who are John Regan Associates ( trading internationally under ‘Bio Parc Concepts International’)?


Bio Parc Concepts International team

In response to particular projects and specific client needs we bring together professional of the highest possible global standing, listed below in alphabetical order. Mike Maunder and John Regan are central to all projects.

Professor Simon Anholt: Simon is an independent policy advisor developing and implement national strategies for enhanced economic, political and cultural engagement with other countries. These strategies are typically in the areas of national identity and reputation, public diplomacy, cultural policy and cultural relations, regional integration, immigration and related areas of social policy, sustainability, educational policy, trade, export promotion, tourism, security and defence, foreign direct investment, talent attraction and major international events.  He is the author of numerous book including Competitive Identity (Palgrave Macmillan 2007); Places (Palgrave Macmillan 2010); and The Good Country Equation (Berrett-Koehler 2020).

Professor Paul Bardos (Fukushima Phoenix project, Japan) : Paul is a globally acknowledged expert on contaminated land and waste management, regeneration of brownfield sites, renewables and sustainability, environmental information dissemination; regeneration of brownfields for bioenergy and green infrastructure.

Mr Brian Child (Advisor on multiple projects) : Brian was  CEO of McCann Erickson North and Chair of Momentum Europe. He advises on marketing, communicational and presentational dimensions of of projects.

Sir Martin Davidson ( part of the Bio Parc Colombia team and advisor on all international projects) was CEO of the British Council, the UK’s international organisation for cultural relation. He is currently Chairman of the Great Britain China Centre. He provides board level advice to a small number of organisations with an interest in China and international education. Martin brings a very senior perspective on government-to-government issues and overall strategic approach.

Mr Neil Kemsley (Bio Parc Mediterranean on Cyprus and other projects) :  Neil was formerly Regional Agent of the Bank of England.  His work in the Bank covered economic issues and, international financial and economic issues. Neil was later instrumental in setting up and later chairing the Merseyside Special Investment Fund to disburse EC Structural Funds. He also advised on the setting up of similar schemes in Cornwall and Yorkshire. Neil served on the Council of the University of Liverpool, acting as its Deputy Treasurer.

Dr Mike Maunder (central to multiple projects): Mike’s ‘day job’ is as the Executive Director of the Cambridge Conservation Initiative and sits within the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School. He acts as a board member of the Mohammed Bin Zayed Conservation Fund, chaired by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. He was recently Executive Director Life Sciences of the Eden Project and Senior Consultant to Eden International. He has consulted to the Dubai Expo and the Dubai Museum of Tomorrow. He was recently Vice-Chair of Flora & Fauna International and is the former Executive Director of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Florida. Mike has a worldwide reputation bringing together the fields of biodiversity and the management of complex nature related visitor attractions.

Professor Sir William Wakeham (for Bio Parc Maghreb): Bill was formerly Vice Chancellor of the University of Southampton. He is a Visiting Professor at Imperial College and on the Board of the Engineering and Physical Research Council (UK’s research funding body). Amongst many other senior roles, past and present, he is a member of the European Union’s expert panel on philanthropy and universities. He is UK Chair of the British-Italian Partnership Programme.

Dr Mark Pilgrim was to recently CEO of Chester Zoo, UK’s most visited biodiversity attraction where, for over a decade, he was responsible for overall strategy and the Zoo’s physical master planning. Critically this included delivery of his personal vision, ‘Islands’: a £42m zoo expansion project, successfully increasing annual number of visitors from 1.6 million in 2015 to an unprecedented over 2 million in 2019. Under Mark’s leadership the annual charitable surplus of this non-profit organisation rose to the region of £9 million. 

As the vice chairman of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) and holder of numerous other international roles, Mark is one of the most respected experts in the world in his fields and sits at the centre of a vast network of colleague expertise..

Other high level  individuals, who not operate professionally within Bio Parcs international/ JRA, but are kind enough to bring various crucial dimensions to specific projects and whom we wish to acknowledge here include:

Professor Sir Drummond Bone (all projects) : Drummond is Chair of the Arts & Humanities Research Council (UK funding agency). He was Pro-Vice Chancellor for Oxford University and Master of Balliol College until April 2018. He previously served as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool from 2002 to 2008, and Principal of  Royal Holloway, University of London. He also served as President of Universities UK and as the inaugural President of BIAZA.

What Our Clients Say

“John Regan is a most tenacious person in lobbying for external funding of zoo activities that have a bearing on society. He is able to access influencers and champions at the highest levels. With these connections and his wide knowledge base he has been impressively successful in securing funding for capital projects in zoos. John is one of those persons who have been able to convince decision makers, that zoos matter.”

– Hans Van Weerd, general curator Melbourne zoo, zoos Victoria

“In assisting zoos with identifying European and other funding opportunities for their education and conservation projects, John Regan provides a unique service. John is not only very experienced when it comes to the business and funding side of zoological operations, but he is also very capable of finding connections between what we do (or want to do) and the programs and thinking at EU and government levels. It also helps that he is a nice guy to work with.”

– Harry Schram, formerly Executive Director, EAZA (European Association of Zoos and Aquariums)

“John’s work has been quite complete covering the main issues of the work assigned. He has been quite helpful not only during the project, but also afterwards with more details about the issues. He really knows about the business.”

– Roberto Guedes, Director na Zoo Santo Inacio, Portugal

“John provided European Zoos with advice on fundraising and marketing. I found him very helpful and competent and his advice was excellent. He is a great guy to work with.”

– Neil Stronach, Ecological consultant and former Director, Fota Wildlife Park, Ireland

“John is a very amiable person, which almost ‘masks’ his sharp intellect. He grasps your ‘subject’ very quickly and gives feed back fast and fully. He also provides answers and comments whenever you ask, no matter what erratic questions it may be. A great person to have by your side.”

– Hans-Ove Larsson, Skansen Zoo, Stockholm

“Here at the Eden Project we’ve been very fortunate to have known and worked with John over a number of years. John mixes his impressive knowledge of EU and UK funding with an amazing network of contacts to present us with some exciting opportunities. His ability to spot a gap or find the right angle to lever in funding or build new relationships with like minded organisations is incredibly beneficial to us and we hope to continue to work with John for many years to come”.

Dan James, Eden Project Cornwall

“Space for Giants was delighted by JRA’s support for the recent launch of our UK fundraising programme at the House of Lords just prior to Christmas. This event was hugely successful and completely oversubscribed, attended by giants of the political, philanthropic, media, business, academic and conservation world. We have immediately secured several large donations from generous supporters and are in the process of negotiating several further”.

– Dr Max Graham, Director, Space for Giants

“John is a highly accomplished fund raiser with a particular range of experience and skills that make him ideally suited to working with Zoos and Aquariums. He has an excellent track record of raising significant levels of funding for capital projects and I would recommend him highly if this was one of your organisations objectives.”

– Dave Gibson, Managing Director, National Marine Aquarium

“This is to record, briefly, BirdLife’s appreciation of the work that John Regan Associates did with us to raise funds for conservation of Tsitongambarika Forest in Madagascar. JRA staff had strong contact networks, worked effectively on complex logical frameworks and narrative proposals, ensured deadlines were met, responded promptly to correspondence and handled complex multi-institutional partnerships with great professionalism. The project is proceeding as I write thanks to approaches made by JRA to one of the foundations they had themselves identified.

Many thanks for the important role you played. I would not hesitate to recommend JRA to others in a similar position to ourselves”.

Document Downloads

  • How Skansen won its € 4 million Download

  • The sponsor’s perspective: interview with Sir Nick Scheele (former President of Ford Worldwide and Executive Chairman of Jaguar Cars) who negotiated the $3 million deal with John Regan Download Interview

  • This is a transcript of a 2011 debate in the UK parliament on the value of zoos in regional economic development Download

  • Record of parliamentary debate on role of zoos in economic development Download record

  • Eurodisney uk 2012-03-14 twenty year review of economic and social impact Download

  • 10 steps to successful financial sponsorship for conservation organisations, zoos, natural history sites and aquariums Download 10 Steps