RDPA Case Study: Preston Tithebarn

Posted on August 21st, 2013

Background

The Preston Tithebarn was a £700 million redevelopment project, focused on the regeneration of Preston City centre. It was brought about by a partnership between Grosvenor, Lend Lease Corporation and Preston City Council.

Brief

 RDPA was tasked with providing PR, marketing and community consultation support for the proposals for the regeneration area.  Particular areas of focus included:

  • Helping to secure consent for the scheme’s planning application
  • Minimise negative press coverage
  • Manage and direct relations among the local community and journalists
  • Mobilise support among the media and public
  • Raise awareness of the project and engage the area’s populace during the consultation period
  • Generate footfall at the project’s Visitor Centre

 

What we did and how we did it

RDPA aimed to develop an understanding of what locals wanted from their town centre and tailored the key messages around these sentiments. Using this information as a basis, we created an engaging consultation programme that was well-publicised, easy to access and encouraged feedback.

We identified potential key challenges in the local press and developed a media campaign to ensure the project was able to demonstrate on its own terms the positive socio-economic benefits for the community and city.

Results

Public participation far exceeded expectations, with more than 2,000 visitors recorded at the project’s Visitor Centre, which was more than double the target amount. The community and local businesses were engaged and enthusiastic about the scheme and more than 90% of regional media coverage over a six-month period was positive.

In November 2010, planning permission for the Preston Tithebarn scheme was granted. However, in 2011, Preston City Council opted to abandon the regeneration scheme, preferring to take an incremental approach to the redevelopment of the city centre.