Karl Milner


Karl is an expert in stakeholder engagement and communications, and a founding director of Project Rome. He has 30 years’ experience of working across a range of industries that link to health and wellbeing, including healthcare, finance, technology, transport and utilities. Karl’s clients include FTSE 100 companies and large public sector organisations, and he also enjoys adding value to growing organisations with big intentions.

Karl has worked at board level in the public, private and third sector and understands what is needed to bring about change in each of these settings. He brings lived experience of effective stakeholder relations in each setting, from award-winning staff engagement campaigns, to working sustainably with seldom-heard groups and communities to influence policy and change things for the better.

Karl co-founded Project Rome to fill a gap in the market for a firm offering impactful strategic advice and practical support to clients whilst giving more back to society and the environment than it took. Prior to co-founding the business, Karl served in executive director roles for Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust and Yorkshire and Humber Strategic Health Authority. Before joining the NHS, Karl was a partner at global communications agency, Finsbury. He started his career working at a junior level in politics for both Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP and Hillary Clinton.

What do I feel most proud of?
I’m very proud of my newly acquired puppy-wrangling skills. And that we are growing our business sustainably.  I am proud to have brought on board talented people who I respect and value. That proves to me that we are sticking to our principles and doing something right.

What makes me tick?
I want to go to bed tired, knowing I put my energy into helping great people get good ideas off the ground.

What our clients say

Project Rome worked with us to develop a purpose-driven strategy for Yorkshire Building Society, aligning our commercial ambitions with our societal and environmental responsibilities. The team were an absolute pleasure to work with, and their knowledge and experience were invaluable. We couldn’t have delivered the work without them.

Tanya Jackson, former Head of Corporate Affairs, Yorkshire Building Society

Project Rome has helped shape, challenge and then support the further development of original thinking, critical to the successful transformation of our sustainable business and asset strategy. They are also hugely well connected regionally and nationally. Their work has led to enhanced customer value and environmental performance for Yorkshire Water – an important outcome at a pivotal time.

Jon Brigg, Manager of Innovation, Yorkshire Water

The team at Project Rome are great to work with; consistently delivering results and adding valuable contributions but also easy and enjoyable to collaborate with. They are impressive in their ability to build rapport with different audiences and quickly apply a strategic mindset and technical expertise to bring structure, clarity and direction.

Gordon Rogers, Head of Sustainability, Yorkshire Water

It has been my pleasure to work with Project Rome over a number of years.  Simon has always brought clear strategic thinking and analysis at corporate level and worked with me as a member of the executive team in WYG plc over an extended period as we grew the business.  I have greatly appreciated his wisdom and help in setting direction for growth and implementing strategy.

Douglas McCormick, Executive Chairman, Gleeds UK and former CEO of WYG

I would sum up Project Rome in three words: diligence, expertise and accuracy. But what’s more, they are a true pleasure to work with. If we have a complex project, Project Rome is our first port of call.

Jeremy Biggs, CEO, NCL Technology Ventures Ltd

Project Rome worked on a one-to-one basis to quickly build relationships and gain the trust of key stakeholders, from clinicians and support teams to Executive Directors. The result was a significant leap forward in our ability to effectively collaborate at all levels. They were also an absolute delight to work with, bringing humour and a sense of fun to the team. We loved every minute of working with them!

Rebecca Malin, former Programme Director, Acute Provider Collaboration, Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

The Project Rome team has an open, approachable style that worked well with our entire team, from Executive Directors to junior admin colleagues. They were politically and culturally sensitive to the need of the population and the multiple stakeholders, and creative and thoughtful about ways to get the optimum outcome from their work.

Stacey Hunter, Executive Director Acute Provider Collaboration Airedale FT and Bradford FT NHS Trusts, Chief Operating Officer, NHS Nightingale Hospital Yorkshire and the Humber

Project Rome provide FirstGroup with excellent regional intelligence and wise political counsel. They help us engage with our key stakeholders in a meaningful and focussed way.

Mike Katz, Head of Policy and Public Affairs, FirstGroup plc

Project Rome

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