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Leisure consultants in Wales and England. Creating solutions using original and practical recommendations. - Go To Our Home Page
Who We Are

Established in September 2007, Howard Tolley - Just Solutions Leisure Consultants, working in association with Sara Green - Butlin Consulting, are Wales-based businesses providing a unique, UK wide portfolio of experience. Their work is conducted entirely in person by the principal consultants.

In over 12 years working as self-employed consultants, Just Solutions and Butlin Consulting have successfully delivered over 250 consultancy service contracts.

The service they provide to their clients is independent and objective, utilising a range of skills drawn from many years of relevant experience. This includes facility development and senior management experience, visionary thinking, ideas and solutions facilitation, critical analysis, effective communications and people management. 
The consultants' expertise is underpinned by successful careers, including:

  • Local authority work at directorate level, including management of Leisure Services (Sport), Theatres and the Arts, Library and Museum Services, Countryside and Outdoor Education, Historic Buildings (Restoration and Management) and Rural Transport
  • Heading up and leading public sports policy in government and sports councils
  • Developing sport at a national level in governing bodies of sport
  • Developing sport in a voluntary capacity within and through sports clubs
  • Creating and managing national grants programmes, as well as successfully applying for grants
  • Teaching and lecturing in schools, further and higher education
  • Preparation of design briefs for the development of the Wales National Pool, Wales National Velodrome, National Indoor Athletics Centre, Sophia Gardens Indoor Cricket Centre, the Liberty Stadium (Swansea) and WRU National Training Centre
  • Feasibility, procurement, funding applications, business plans and project management of two National Football Centres in Wales
  • Management of a diverse range of sports facilities, including national and regional facilities in Wales and England

Howard Tolley, Company Director
  • 35 years' senior public sector management experience
  • 12 years' commercial practice experience
  • Leisure management roles in Suffolk, Norfolk, Nottinghamshire, London and South Wales
  • Director in 4 authorities in England and Wales: Mansfield District Council (Assistant Director and Director positions), Breckland District Council, Spelthorne Borough Council and Newport Borough Council 
  • Management experience in these authorities of Leisure, Theatres and the Arts, Play Services, Parks and Playing Fields, Library and Museum Services, Countryside and Outdoor Education, Historic Buildings (Restoration and Management) and 'Imports' at Heathrow
  • Director Sports Council, specialising in facilities development
  • Manager of the Lottery Fund for 10 years, which included delivery of over 400 facilities and 7 national centres

Specialities: visioning, options appraisals, feasibilities, financial and operational management plans and advice, governance, problem solving, project management and procurement, facility design briefs. 

Sara Green, Business Partner
  • Over 35 years' leisure experience including teaching and lecturing, strategic management and serving as a volunteer club secretary and treasurer
  • Governing Body of Sport National Development Officer - Amateur Swimming Association
  • Sports Facilities and Activities Manager
  • Sports Council Policy Officer and Senior Regional Manager, Northern Region and London
  • Director at Sport Wales – responsible for setting up the Lottery Fund for Wales in 1994 and distributing over £60m in grants
  • Welsh Assembly Government Head of Sports Policy

Specialties: stakeholder consultations, options appraisals, workforce reviews, facilitated strategic reviews, evaluations, feasibility studies, business cases, management reviews, funding.


Just Solutions embrace a team of highly experienced consultants with a wide variety of specialist backgrounds. Together, the company provides an unparalleled level of knowledge and experience across the cultural activity, heritage, leisure, health, education and research sectors in Wales and the UK.

Joanne Martin

  • Owner and Principle Consultant at My Leisure Consultant.
  • Senior executive with 20 successful years in the leisure industry and a diverse breadth of knowledge, working across a range of sectors that included sports club management, blue chip client account management for a 5* golf resort and conference venue and more recently as the Sales, Marketing and Business Development Director for Parkwood Leisure, a leading private leisure business working with a range of Local Authority clients and leisure consultants.
  • Joanne started her career as a Sports Development Manager, after which she became the Special Events Manager for the luxurious and high profile Celtic Manor Resort in South Wales.
  • After joining Parkwood Leisure in 2009 as the Assistant Regional Director for the South West, Joanne was responsible for 20 varied leisure and culture facilities, with a combined turnover of £18m. During this time she led the commissioning of a new £30m flagship PFI Leisure Centre in Bristol, working alongside design and construction teams during the build to launch the new centre.  
  • Joanne has led on multiple research projects to identify business growth opportunities (such as theatres, libraries, dance, the education sector and child care services) to select new markets and then successfully lead change internally to support these new business units. This work secured management contracts for, amongst others, the Playhouse Theatre in Weston-super-Mare, the Hawth Theatre in Crawley and the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.
  • Joanne is able to draw on her vast commercial experience and understanding of the wider leisure and culture sector to offer guidance and support on:
    • Sports development
    • Events and project management
    • Business development, outsourcing of local authority services and public procurement processes
    • New leisure centre design and commissioning
    • Composition of, and critiquing new business models for an array of new facilities and services to include best value contracts, leisure and theatre models, destination venues, and more complex Design, Build, Operate, Maintain (DBOM) proposals
    • Sales and marketing strategies using insight intelligence to drive cross platform marketing campaigns and delivery of commercial growth across a range of product and service offerings such as health and fitness, retail and swimming
    • Stakeholder engagement and service reviews to better understand business performance and identify areas for development and growth

  • Joanne has a BSc (Hons) in Mathematics, is NEBOSH qualified with Distinction, holds a PRINCE2 Project Management Certificate, is a certified National Pool Plant Operator and is also studying for AAT Level 2 and 3 Accountancy qualifications.

John Lord

John Lord, Director yellow book ltd, is an economic development and regeneration professional with senior level experience as a practitioner and consultant.

John played a key role in the creation of Scottish Enterprise (SE), a national development agency and was chief executive of Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire before being promoted to the post of SE strategy director, where he was responsible for performance management, research and evaluation.

John led the research report study team to produce a strategy for Sheffield’s pioneering cultural quarter, and the City of Imagination report analysed Canterbury’s cultural offer and developed proposals for placemaking in the historic city.

John has also contributed a series of illustrated essays on English cities, including Bradford, published in Urban Realm magazine.

An active member of the Academy of Urbanism and an assessor for the Academy’s Great Places awards, John contributes to the University of Glasgow’s Masters Regenerating Cities programme and is a regular keynote speaker at events and conferences. He is a member of the Historic England Urban Panel and Associate of the Glasgow Urban Lab.

Specialties: fine-grained small area analysis; extensive portfolio of economic, labour market, demographic and other research studies. Community and stakeholder engagement; strategic and operational commissions in various towns and cities. Specialist interests include the geography of the knowledge economy and creative/cultural industries.

Jamie Clewer 

Jamie has 15 years' experience in National Governing Body Sport Development. He has an extensive track record of leading change in Governing Body policy and delivery and as strategic lead for Football Development in Wales, Jamie’s remit included increasing participation and building the infrastructure of grassroots clubs whilst safeguarding the future of the sport through appropriate facility development/management. 

Jamie also served as a member of the Senior Executive Team of the Football Association of Wales (FAW) and FAW Trust and as a consequence, has valuable experience of strategic and corporate management within a sporting context.

He has led on the development of a new approach to grassroots delivery – commissioning partner organisations best positioned to engage target audiences with outcome-focused investment in delivery. Through this new approach, and with no more than just £100,000 of investment, his team achieved over 10,000 new participants playing regularly, 90 new volunteer positions and 63 different projects. 

Equality and inclusion work are a personal passion, and Jamie has a positive track record of intervention in disadvantaged and diverse communities. Under his ‘stewardship’, he saw a 45% increase in female particpation and .8% increase in Black and Minority Ethnic participation. He was also responsible for the first two strategies for disability football, leading to a 500% increase in disability participation and the establishment of a national and regional performance programme. 

Jamie has experience of designing, implementing and activating sponsorship programmes for grassroots football activ­ity valued at more than £500,000 and working with multi-national companies such as McDonald’s, Lidl and Vauxhall. 

Jamie also has considerable experience of writing successful grant applications and business cases.

Alan Watkin

  • Former Chief Officer for Libraries, Leisure and Culture until 2011 and member of the CyMAL Advisory Board
  • WLGA advisor on culture, sport and libraries
  • Board member – Sports Council of Wales
  • Executive Committee Member – UK Sports Museums
  • Wrexham F.C. Board Director
  • Wales Arts Review 2006 – Ministerial Review Panel 
  • Current board member of: Arts Council Wales; Welsh Books Council / English Language Panel

Hazel Hawarden

A qualified museum professional with 30 years’ experience in the culture and heritage sector. Formerly Culture and Heritage Manager for Wrexham County Borough Council – head of the largest museums services in North East Wales.

Dr Kevin Mason

  • Recently retired as Director of the Bodelwyddan Castle Trust - a major tourist attraction in North Wales, managing the historic site, including 260 acres of historic parkland and the creation of reproduction First World War trenches in the park.
  • Previously worked in local authority museums in Wales and for the Council of Museums in Wales.
  • Assessor to the Irish Heritage Council’s Museums Standards Programme and former member of the UK Museums Accreditation Committee, the Heritage Lottery Fund Wales Panel, the Museums Association Council, the Association of Independent Museums Council, and the CyMAL Advisory Board.

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