Peter Riley, Caroline Platt and Paul Ellis, REP Consulting

Tell us about your company?

We are a grant raising consultancy based in the Northwest of England as a collaboration of freelance Funding Consultants with a combined experience of over 35 years.  We specialise in assisting organisations such as registered charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises to secure vital funding from a variety of grant making sources and public sector tendering.
We are here to help you and your organisation find and secure the right funding solutions to deliver your individual project needs.

Where do you want the business to be in two years?

REP Consulting was launched in October 2015 and we have spent the last few months building our profile and visibility in the marketplace.  We have memberships with Greater Manchester, St. Helens and Wirral Chambers of Commerce, as well as the Women's Organisation in Liverpool.  All three consultants are Full Members of the Institute of Fundraising. In two years’ time we want to have developed our services and gained a wider client base across the North West Region. We have put together some funding packages which can be tailored to suit client’s needs as they are flexible and can be for 12 up to 24 months and we want to market these packages more widely.

"In two years’ time we want to have developed our services and gained a wider client base across the North West Region."

What are your backgrounds?

Peter Riley:  I spent most of my working life within Local Government (32 years) and my specialism's were in Leisure management including administration, programming and ISO 9001, Marketing and latterly project development, Monitoring and Evaluation, ISO 14001, Resource procurement, and National Lottery funding advice and project delivery.  Since becoming a Funding Consultant in January 2014 I’ have already secured funding of over £2m and have a project portfolio with projects in progress amounting to over £1m and is set to grow throughout 2016/17.

Paul Ellis - Having previously worked in the banking sector, primarily in recruitment and Human Resources, I entered the not for profit sector following an illness. Having found a natural flair for fund raising, I have over 12 years’ experience of Trust and Company Funding raising over £1.2million for my present organisation on a part time basis. This has included a wide variety of service user experience via fundraising applications gained during this period including Advice & Guidance, Capital projects, Community events, Housing, Older People, Sports Clubs, and Youth Services.

Caroline Platt - I have worked with European Structural Funds (ESF and ERDF) and UK Government funding regimes since 1995. For over 13 years I worked in local government Regeneration and Economic Development, of which 10 years were as a Project Manager of major capital schemes and grant programmes.  Throughout my career I have secured more than £5m from EU and UK Government sources and am an accomplished bid writer. My specialism's are Strategy development, Programme and project development, Project appraisal, Monitoring and evaluation, and Resource procurement.

If you could suggest one thing to Government to help business growth what would it be?

Make it less complicated with less red tape and ensure you continue to provide start-up and growth funding. Training is so important not only for new businesses but for established ones so provide localized funded opportunities. An example is the Big Lottery Fund’s pilot initiative called Building Capabilities linked to the Reaching Communities Programme where additional funding is provided to organisations to help them identify then ‘buy in’ external trainers to provide bespoke training for all areas of staffing, volunteers and Trustees.

What do you do to relax away from the office?

Peter Riley – I play golf, read and going out to coffee shops
Paul Ellis – I like to chill by watching TV, reading or having a nice pint or two whenever possible!
Caroline Platt – Days out with my family, going to the coast, walking in the countryside.

What hobbies do you have?

Peter Riley – Mainly playing golf, reading and going out to coffee shops
Paul Ellis – I am a big Everton fan for my sins and enjoy going to the cinema and eating out at new and different restaurants
Caroline Platt – Running, taking part in 10k races, and reading.

Have you any hidden talents that we don't know about?

Peter Riley – I played the guitar in my youth, was a good badminton player and played basketball in the British Colleges Basketball Final's two years running.
Paul Ellis - I am a fairly decent chef and like to hold fairly regular “Come Dine With Me” nights at my place
Caroline Platt – I studied languages to degree level and lived in Spain for six months. I ran the Liverpool Half Marathon two years ago.  I have a second business as a Body Shop at Home Consultant.

What one piece of advice would you give yourselves starting out today?

An 18 year old Peter Riley starting out today would be told to listen more to your elders then follow your dreams...
An 18 year old Paul Ellis starting out today would be not to regret things and know that experiences do make you stronger as a person in time…
An 18 year old Caroline Platt starting out today would say don’t worry about having a major plan.  Your life will evolve and take you to places that you never would have imagined.  Be strong, be bold and be true to yourself.

Any final thoughts?

If you love what you do and can make into a career then go for it with all the drive and enthusiasm you can muster. Make mistakes but learn from them and don’t make them again!

For more information about REP Consulting or to talk with Peter, Caroline or Paul about possible support then please visit REP Consulting




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