people in places

Richard Sobey creates people-focussed interventions that test approaches to urban living. He collaborates across sectors to inform practice and policy decisions in place-making. Richard is creating strategies, designing projects, developing policies and evaluating actions in the cultural, heritage and urban planning sectors internationally.

"a force of energy with visionary ideas"

Richard is Co-Founder and Joint Director of DELVE Associates enabling unusual connections for people, place and prosperity

some examples of what Richard has made happen



In partnership with Chengdu Municipal Administration Department, Chengdu, China     (staged April 2012)
Executive Director and Creative Director of a national conference for urban planning and destination marketing professionals staged in Chengdu;   responsible for conference concept, design and programme, organisation and delivery with city government partner and staff; invite of UK speakers, including Greater London Authority's LONDON 2012 Creative Programmer, Chenine Bhathena, Stockton International Riverside Festival Founder/Director & Chair of ISAN, Frank Wilson and University of Leeds' Chair of Creative Industries Research Group, Calvin Taylor.
Key Achievement:   Established new partnership to deliver a national significant event that was featured on China's national government website; secured contract and managed delivery without drawing on the traditional support structures like British Council (who attended the event).  

Drama Rainbow Education Company, Beijing, China     (Jan 2012 - Mar 2012)
Programme Development & Branding/Communications Consultant
Developed vision, goals and branding/communications strategies, delivered staff training on project management and making strategic connections to achieve goals.
Key Achievement:   Detailed close relationship with CEO & translator to effect successful organisation cultural change.

Arts Council England     (Mar 2005 - Oct 2011)
International Networking Programme Consultant and Manager
Personalised strategic development for 15 organisations to utilise international networking to achieve aspirations with accompanied strategic attendance at IETM; freelance contract.
Key Achievement:   Programme extended twice due to success and demand with networking built into the strategic frameworks of the organisations.

British Council, Beijing     (Jan 2009 – Mar 2009)
Creative Director of Transforming Public Spaces conference in Chongqing
Conference programme and associated practical workshop design, organisation and delivery with BC staff; chair/facilitation of conference; media interviews.
Key Achievement:   Effectively built and led a new Chinese team; developed an understanding of British Council strategic aims and translated into the project vision; achieved quality standards in practical delivery.   

University of Bradford     (Oct 2007 -Feb 2008)
Curriculum Development Consultant
Lead facilitator on strategic post-graduate Course and Curriculum visioning for the creation of a new course to position the University in the international market.
Key Achievement:   Quickly developed an understanding of the University’s core aims in research and curriculum; communicated strategic use of curriculum design and its link to communications strategy.

British Federation of Brass Bands     (Apr 2005 - Dec 2005)
Organisational Development, Strategic Planning and Programme Design Consultant
Nine month project to develop vision, strategic plan, programme of activity, action plan (including communications strategy) and organisational structure and systems.
Key Achievement:   Acknowledged by ACE as a ‘masterful, strategically significant and practical piece of work’ (ACE Music Officer).