Options Appraisals & Feasibility Studies

Pulse undertakes options studies, scoping reports, appraisals, and feasibility studies. This includes identifying, researching, and developing options, testing these out, and assessing viability, both financially and in terms of their deliverability.

Case Studies

MacLeod Centre Options Study

Pulse developed an Options Study Report for the MacLeod Centre, a residential centre on the Isle of Iona, small island of the western coast of Scotland. Locally known as the Mac, the building has deteriorated over the years and uses changed, and Pulse was asked to identify and explore the viability of a range of new potential uses for the Mac. Following a visit to the island including consultation with the local community, key stakeholders, and partners, and undertaking best practice research, Pulse identified 16 potential use options. Through a range of workshops and development sessions with a specially formed project steering group, options were appraised, and preferred options further developed. These include residential uses, including potential staff accommodation, affordable housing, and the possibility of self-catering accommodation; a Social Enterprise Services Hub, including a potential island laundry and island bakery, and ancillary uses/ shared spaces which could include arts, education and community uses. Pulse are now supporting the Iona Community with the next stage Feasibility Study, including identifying professional support needs, partnership development, and funding to take the project forward.


Ruth Harvey, Leader of The Iona Community said “Working with Pulse has been transformative for us. Pulse have brought rigour, wisdom, and deep compassion to their work with us. They have helped steer us through immense complexities, brought clarity to our strategic thinking, delivered outstanding reports of high quality on time, and helped reveal to us that we have more potential than we thought.”

Dementia MCST Services Feasibility
Age UK required a Feasibility Study of the Dementia Maintenance Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (MCST) Services delivered by local Age UK brand partners across the country. MCST is a weekly one to two-hour long programme for people living with mild to moderate dementia, where group members take part in meaningful and stimulating activities, proven to help maintain memory and mental functioning.


The Feasibility Study was needed by Age UK to inform the future direction of the Services including what is required to deliver them, how they are delivered, what the price would be for the older person or commissioners, and what the appetite is amongst Age UK brand partners to work together to share resources to enable the future delivery of MCST services.


The study included a review, a telephone consultation exercise with Age UK brand partner, and deep dive visits to three to better understand delivery and consider future plans and strategy options. The Study concluded with a series of service model options, including sub regional and national development, and recommendations for the next steps needed.

The Green Cafe Feasibility Study
Pulse supported Bolton at Home and members of a Shadow Board to make a decision about the potential to develop a café/ restaurant as a social enterprise within Bolton at Home’s new offices at Endeavour House in Bolton. Pulse worked closely with the Shadow Board to develop a concept for the cafe/ restaurant, and to undertake market research including consultation with a range of stakeholders, staff survey, and an assessment of potential competition. We also undertook best practice research, including arranging study visits for the Shadow Board to similar cafe/ restaurants including in Sheffield, explored partnership opportunities and different delivery model options, training model, staffing and legal structure, and financial business modelling. A decision was made to proceed, and Pulse subsequently supported with business planning work and social impact leading to a successful launch of The Green Café as a high quality, sustainable, ethical catering facility providing added value in terms of training and employment opportunities for local people.


Gwen Crawford, Director of Development at Bolton at Home said “Pulse worked closely with the Shadow Board to take us through the feasibility process and engaging with a wide range of partners. They helped us to test options and make the decisions needed for the Green Cafe to work as a viable social enterprise with high social impact. Pulse were a pleasure to work with throughout, shared their expertise with us, and guided us every step of the way”.